Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Special Report - Afghanistan 10 years on

The beginning of this month marked 10 years since military operations started in Afghanistan. In recognition, the editors and analysts at Jane's have produced a 65pp report detailing operations and analysis.

The report includes:
* detailed analysis of insurgent tactics & targets generated by JTIC's database (now 134000 events and growing!)
* profiles of the Taliban and Haqqani Network groups
* US war spending by sector and category & forecast spending
* Selected IHS Jane's articles on both insurgent threats and ISAF's counter efforts.

Additionally, a few quotes from our experts: Peter Felstead: "The degree to which NATO is ultimately seen to prevail in Afghanistan is now increasingly in the hands of the Afghan National Security Forces themselves, but one thing is certainly true: Afghanistan has changed NATO as much as NATO has changed Afghanistan. Coalition warfare has come of age."

Dan Wasserbly: "From a kit perspective, Afghanistan has proven a difficult environment for which to equip coalition troops. The prevalence of improvised explosive devices has pushed militaries to field heavier armoured vehicles that can shield against blasts, but the mountainous terrain necessitates more mobile trucks and lighter personal gear."

Jeremy Binnie: The Afghan war was justified by the need to prevent the country being used by international terrorists. Some argue that this objective has been achieved, with Al-Qaeda largely displaced to Pakistan's tribal areas, where it has suffered numerous blows, while the Taliban leadership has promised that it will not be an international threat when it re-establishes control over Afghanistan. However, a myriad of foreign jihadist groups continue to operate in the tribal areas and may relocate to Afghanistan in the future. It remains far from clear whether the Taliban is capable of breaking all ties with its foreign allies and preventing them from using Afghanistan as a base for activities that threaten foreign states."

Matthew Henman: The increasing ability of the Taliban and allied groups to conduct high-profile attacks in Kabul repeatedly calls into question the ability of Afghan security forces to protect the seat of government let alone achieve the basic counter-insurgency precept of projecting security, stability, and the rule of government across the remainder of the country."

James Brazier: "Pakistan is positioning itself as the sole intermediary capable of forging peace with the Taliban. However, Pakistan's efforts to interpose itself into Afghanistan's peace process have created dangerous questions over the nature of Pakistan's relationship with the militants."

Terry Pattar: "Time is running out to leave Afghanistan in an acceptable shape that would justify the time, money, and lives spent in expanding the mission from counter-terrorism to state building. With major doubts over the current Afghan government and whether they will be able to maintain stability after NATO withdrawal, the US now has to choose if they are going to back Karzai or find an alternative. Either way, there will have to be some form of rapprochement with elements of the Taliban if Afghanistan is not going to descend back into civil war."

Click here for the complete report.

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