The Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) has submitted an application to change the name of its Afghan operations from the “Al Jazeera Logistics” to “Al-Shabab Logistics”.
The decision will take effect on 15 March, but there is currently no official announcement on the issue.
The agency is a joint venture of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), the US and Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defense.
“The main reason for this name change is the current situation of instability in the country,” the DLA’s deputy director, Abdul Rahman Khan, told Al Jazeera.
“We need to maintain our presence and presence is not guaranteed and the security situation is not what it was in 2012.
It was also the time when we started operations in Afghanistan, so it’s a difficult time for us.”
Khan told Al Jazeera that the name change was made in order to reflect the changing security situation in the Afghan capital Kabul.
“In 2012, we were able to establish the Afghan Ministry of National Defense [AFNDC] under the Ministry of Defence, which is the country’s defence ministry,” he said.
“But in 2013, there was a major change in the political situation, and the AFNDC was dissolved.”
The decision was made after a joint survey conducted by the DDA and the Afghan Security Forces [ASF] was released in January 2016.
“During the survey, they were able tell us that the AFDC is still struggling to operate and maintain its operations and that the DBA had been operating in the province of Paktia for the last two years,” Khan said.
The survey, which was conducted by former ASF commander and former UN Special Rapporteur for Afghanistan, Mohammad Ali Karim, was released after the 2016 US presidential election and was heavily criticised by Afghanistan’s political parties and human rights groups.
Karim was critical of the ASF, saying the DKA was not equipped to operate in Afghanistan’s volatile security environment.
The Afghan National Army [ANA] is currently fighting the Taliban.
The DLA is one of the four branches of the AFI, the Afghan Defence Force (ADF), which was created in 2006 to handle logistics and intelligence work for the AFG.
According to Khan, the DTA’s new name is intended to highlight the DHA’s role in coordinating with the Afghan government.
“This is an important step to show our commitment to the Afghan people,” he told Al JA.
“As of now, we are not officially involved in the operation and we don’t plan to.
But we are working with the government, so this will help the Afghan public understand what we are doing.”
However, Khan admitted that “it’s hard to change a name after the name was created”.
“We have had a lot of discussions with the [Afghan] government about changing it,” he explained.
“Some people feel it’s more important to change it now than to wait for the [political] transition to end.”
However Khan said the DZA’s mission is “not a political one”.
“The DDA’s main objective is to provide logistics to the AFGHAN MINISTRY of DEFENSE [AFGMD], which is a ministry which has not been able to operate due to a lack of resources,” he added.
“If we can help to improve the situation of the [AFDC], then we will work with the AFNGD [Afghani National Guard] to achieve that.”
Afghanistan is currently facing a series of terrorist attacks, including a deadly bombing that took place on January 2.
A separate attack claimed by IS in Afghanistan on January 26 left more than 80 people dead, including the president.