The Afghan War
August 21, 2009
The Afghan-Pakistan conflict is a complex conflict that covers two countries and has ideological, political, governance, economic, military, and security dimensions that are extremely difficult to measure and portray in summary form. NATO/ISAF, the United Nations, the U.S Department of Defense, and various polls and nongovernmental organizations have, however, gradually developed summary metrics and maps of the conflict. Whilke these data have serious gaps, and often attempt to “spin” the war in political directions, they stil provide a useful overview of developments in the conflict and are beginning to go beyond the military dimension to the political and economic dimensions and to show how Afghans and Pakistanis perceive the conflict.
The Burke Chair has developed a series of presentations that survery maps and graphics from a range of sources that cover given aspects of the war and bring together a range of metrics in key areas. These presentations include a summary overview of the war--which is largely a current status report--and a series of subreports that begin to pull together a historical record of the various metrics in given subject areas. These latter reports include comparative graphics that show how given metrics have changed over time. The trends and differences they portray often provide important perspective on the trends in the conflict, but they also reflect important contradictions in various reports on the war and methods of describing it.
The following reports and subreports are now available on the CSIS Web site:
- Brief Summary: A very brief summary of the major trends in the conflict.
Available at: http://csis.org/files/publication/burke/090803_BriefSummary.pdf
- Status of 2009: An examination of the war’s current status so far in the year 2009.
Available at: http://csis.org/files/publication/burke/090803_Statusof2009.pdf
- The Rising Intensity of the Conflict 2007-2008: This report examines recent trends in the military conflict in Afghanistan from 2008.
Available at: http://csis.org/files/publication/burke/090803_RisingIntensityConflict20072008.pdf
- The Rising Intensity of the Conflict 2001-2007: This report examines the trends in violence in Afghanistan during the period from 2001-2007.
Available at: http://csis.org/files/publication/burke/090803_RisingIntensityConflict20012007.pdf
- The Shifting Nature of the Threat: This report examines how violence is expanding, the Taliban is resurfacing and the nature of the threat in Afghanistan is changing.
Available at: http://csis.org/files/publication/burke/090803_ShiftingNatureThreat.pdf
- Developments in NATO/ISAF, US Forces, and PRTs: An analysis of recent changes and updates to the status of various forces engaged in the struggle in Afghanistan.
Available at: http://csis.org/files/publication/burke/090803_DevelopmentsinISAF-US-PRTForces.pdf
- The Af-Pak Air War: An analysis of the use of airpower in the Afghan war.
Available at: http://csis.org/files/publication/burke/090803_AfPakAirWar.pdf
- The Battle of Perceptions: This report explores how public perception both within Afghanistan, Pakistan and internationally is affecting the war.
Available at: http://csis.org/files/publication/burke/090803_BattleofPerceptions.pdf
- One War Two Countries: Afghanistan vs. “Pashtunistan”: This report examines how cross-border actions and support from the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan have made the war in Afghanistan a war in “Pashtunistan.”
Available at: http://csis.org/files/publication/burke/090803_OneWarinTwoCountries.pdf
- Afghan Economics and Conditions of Life: This report examines the day to day conditions of Afghans as well as the trends and attitudes in the narcotics trade.
Available at: http://csis.org/files/publication/burke/090731_AfEcon.pdf
- Developments in Afghan Forces: This report traces the historical and current development of the ANSF.
Available at: http://csis.org/files/publication/burke/090803_DevelopmentsInAfghanForces.pdf
- Counternarcotics: This report examines the effort to end drug production, smuggling, and financing.
Available at: http://csis.org/files/publication/burke/090812_Counternarcotics.pdf
In addition, two other reports are available that describe the changes necessary to develop an effective strategy and provide accurate metrics on the war. These reports include:
Finally, The Burke Chair has recently published a book on the Afghan Security Forces: “Winning in Afghanistan: Creating Effective Afghan Security Forces”. The book can be purchased at:
These reports will be regularly updated and expanded. We would greatly appreciate suggestions as to additional material that should be included. Such suggestions should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.