Earlier this week, the Department of Defense released a report called “Progress Toward Security and Stability in Afghanistan – November 2010” (you can download the full report here). At 105 pages, there is quite a bit of information to digest.
I took the liberty and reproduced a couple of the graphs and a map from the security section. From reading the report, and looking at the data displayed, you’ll see that the security situation has worsened in Afghanistan over the past year, despite the surge of US forces. Keep in mind the following:
- The reporting date ends in September, so we are not aware of the DoD’s assessment of the current security situation.
- DoD doesn’t seem to have expected results from the surge this year; 2010 was the year to shape the battleground, while improved results are expected in 2011.
- The crux of the surge is directed at the south (Helmand and Kandahar). The east (Paktia, Paktika, and Khost area and Kunar/Nuristan area) is still in the “shaping” phase, while the north and west are “economy of force” actions, meaning there are not enough troops and resources to effect change in these areas.
- The security assessment has been done only for the 141 “key terrain districts.” The other 160-plus districts have not been assessed, and the Taliban have a reach in many of these districts. Those districts may not be key to us, but they are to the Taliban.
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