The Afghan-Pakistan War
December 3, 2007
The attached report is the second of two reports measuring progress in Afghanistan. The first briefing, entitled Assessing the Afghan-Pakistani Conflict, analyzed US, allied, UN and other international reporting on the war and aid effort. It can be downloaded from the CSIS web site at http://www.csis.org/files/media/csis/pubs/071129_afghan-pakconfl.pdf
This briefing provides a mix of maps, graphics, and charts to describe what is and is not known about the course of the fighting, aid efforts, development of Afghan governance and forces, and issues like the impact of the counternarcotics program. It also addresses the war as an Afghan-Pakistan conflict, not simply in the narrow context of the fighting in Afghanistan. It addresses the fact that the war is not an Afghan conflict but one whose center of gravity is the Pashtun and tribal areas in southern and eastern Afghanistan and western Pakistan.
The briefing draws on a mix of unclassified US, NATO/ISAF, UN and other sources, as well as opinion polls of Afghans and Pakistanis. These sources have severe limits and many are suspect in terms of accuracy and coverage -- although sins of omission are far more common than distortions of the data or outright lies. As a result, a range of sources is provided wherever possible, and public opinion poll data are used to show how Afghans and Pakistanis perceive the situation rather than outside sources.