Shape, Clear, Hold, and Build: The Uncertain Metrics of the Afghan War
December 3, 2009
The Afghan and Pakistan conflicts are remarkably complex wars where few understand the trends that have shaped the crisis the President referred to in his speech, or the larger forces at work in the region. The Burke Chair has developed an unclassified briefing that summarizes these trends in graphic and map form. This briefing is entitled Shape, Clear, Hold, and Build: The Uncertain Metrics of the Afghan War, and it is available on the CSIS web site at http://csis.org/files/publication/091201_afghan_metrics.pdf.
The brief shows the rise in violence from 2001 to the present. It tracks the comparative US efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the failure to properly resource the Afghan War. It looks at the expansion of Taliban influence over time, and the rise in the intensity of the fighting, changes in the modes of attack, and patterns in casualties. It also examines problems in the US funding efforts once the war intensified, and in the way in which NATO/ISAF and the Provincial Reconstruction Teams were organized to fight the war.
It traces the patterns in the US and NATO/ISAF troop build-up and in the growth of the key elements of the ANSF, as well as in the funding of ANSF development. It examines the impact of issues like narcotics, and examines the patterns in infiltration across the Afghan border from Pakistan.
This briefing will be regularly update to include material released as a result of President Obama’s speech and the testimony and reporting that follows. Suggested additions and corrections will be greatly appreciated and should be address to Anthony H. Cordesman at email@example.com.