Refocusing Afghan Metrics on Key Local Areas and Population Centers
July 22, 2010
It is useful to have a broad set of measures at the national level, but this is not where the war will be fought, or how either military or civil operations should be judged. Counterinsurgency is inherently local, and this is particularly true in a country with as many tribal, ethnic, sectarian, and geographic divisions as Afghanistan – and Pakistan.
The priority for both classified and unclassified reporting should be to clearly show what is happening in each key population area in net assessment terms. It should be to integrate assessment of the threat with assessment of the impact of US, ISAF, and GIRoA actions. It should be possible to see the trends in kinetics tied to the effectiveness of the ANSF, GIRoA, and outside military and aid efforts. Moreover, these net assessments should be tailored to the specific conditions in given areas, rather than to some standard model.
The attached brief details what is needed to reform Afghan metrics. It can be downloaded here: http://csis.org/files/publication/100722_AfghanOperMetrics.final.pdf