Shape, Clear, Hold, and Build: The Full Metrics of the Afghan War
March 1, 2010
The "metrics" of the Afghan War are changing. As General McChrystal has stated, the steady deterioration that has taken place since 2003 seems to have halted. ISAF and the Afghan government have begun to implement the a strategy, new ISAF and Afghan resources are being deployed, and a more integrated civil-military effort is just beginning to take place in the field. The situation remains critical, however, and it is important to understand both the key trends in the war, and just how complex any valid set of metrics has to be to show all of the trends involved.
The Burke Chair has prepared a summary of these metrics, entitled “Shape, Clear, Hold, Build, and Transfer: The Full Metrics of the Afghan War” available at: http://csis.org/files/publication/100302_afghan_metrics_combined.pdf
Please note that this report is 7 MB. For those with slower download speeds, the report has been split into two smaller sections.
The first provides a historical overview of the war between 2001 and 2009. This analysis is entitled "Shape, Clear, Hold, Build, and Transfer: The Metrics of the Afghan War 2001-2009" and is available at the CSIS web site at http://csis.org/files/publication/100301_AfghanMetrics_2001-2009.pdf .
The second is focused on assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the new Afghan war strategy as it moves forward. This analysis is entitled "Shape, Clear, Hold, Build, and Transfer: Can the New Strategy Work in Afghanistan?" And is available at the CSIS web site at http://csis.org/files/publication/100301_AfghanMetrics_2010_and_beyond.pdf.
These documents rely largely on official sources, and this limits some aspects of their coverage because of security concerns. It should also be stressed that the Afghan conflict is very much an active war, and one in which a new strategy, new resources and a new level of civil-military integration are just being applied.
As a result, these metrics are partial snapshot of the war in early March, and the reader should be aware of their limits. These graphics are being regularly revised, however, and any suggestions, additions, and updates would be most helpful. Please send such information to Adam Mausner at email@example.com.