Thursday 13 January 2011

A few reports you may have missed...

Defining success in Afghanistan by Frederick W Kagan and Kimberly Kagan, A report by the American Enterprise Institute and the Institute for the Study of War .
The Kagans define success as "the establishment of a political order, security situation, and indigenous security force that is stable, viable, enduring, and able—with greatly reduced international support—to prevent Afghanistan from being a safe haven for international terrorists." They argue that military forces are making progress and that policy does not need changing much. They say that the Taliban has lost almost all of its momentum and main safe havens in the south and that locals are now stepping forward to fight the Taliban with ISAF support. In the East insurgents do not have much momentum and they are extremely unlikely to gain strength in the north. "From a military standpoint, the counterinsurgency is going reasonably well, insofar as it is possible to judge over the winter." The main test, they say, will come in late summer 2011 when the insurgency is expected to peak.

A New Deal: a plan for sustainable Afghan Stability by Bijan R Kian and Wayne Porter of the New America Foundation argues that it is time to transition from "foreign-funded, Afghan-assisted development to a sustainable "Afghan-funded, foreign-assisted programme that reduces corruption. Drawing on parallels between the United States in 1933 and present-day Afghanistan, they suggest setting up an Afghan Development Corps of young Afghans to work on project such as water, sewage and sanitation, reforestation and land management.

Strategies to Counter Opiate Production in Afghanistan: Are we on the right track? is produced by URD, the French government's development agency. They conclude that "Though slow, practices are changing and there is growing recognition that there is no one replacement crop, nor any one “alternative” form of development, but that only holistic socio-economic and political development will make it possible to reduce dependence on opium poppy cultivation in a sustainable manner."

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