KABUL : NATO advisers want Afghan soldiers to spend less time manning checkpoints and more taking the fight to Taliban militants, a key tactical shift the coalition hopes will enable local forces to quell a rising insurgency.
With NATO's combat mission officially over, and only a few thousand foreign troops left, the onus has fallen on the Afghan army and police to impose stability, and the military alliance is looking for ways to use those resources more effectively.
Reducing reliance on thousands of poorly defended checkpoints that dot towns and roads across the country is a priority for NATO heading into summer, when fighting is expected to intensify as the Taliban renews its push to seize back power.
"They've got way too many soldiers on checkpoints," said Brigadier-General Wilson Shoffner, spokesman for the NATO-led training mission known as Resolute Support.
"There's an old military saying that if you defend everywhere you defend nowhere, and it's very much true for them (Afghan security forces)."
There are early signs the idea is catching on.
Over the past week, army units in the embattled province of Helmand abandoned their outposts in several of the most disputed