Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan

Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan

Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan

Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan

Synopsis

This study explores the nature of the insurgency in Afghanistan, the key challenges and successes of the campaign, and the capabilities necessary to wage effective counterinsurgency operations. It argues that successful counterinsurgency requires effective indigenous security forces, especially police; a viable and legitimate local government; and the suppression of external support for insurgents.

Excerpt

This book examines counterinsurgency operations in Afghanistan following the overthrow of the Taliban regime in 2001. It is based on repeated trips to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008. It focuses on the early stages of the insurgency—from 2002 until 2008—and examines why and how the insurgency began. It also draws lessons from the broader literature on counterinsurgency warfare and provides recommendations to help the United States develop capabilities and improve performance in future counterinsurgency operations. The focus of this research is on the U.S. military. However, since the actions of other U.S. government agencies, countries, international organizations such as the United Nations (UN), and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) are obviously important, they are discussed where appropriate. The results should be of interest to a broad audience of policymakers and academics concerned with counterinsurgency and the related issues of state-building, nation-building, and stability operations.

This research was sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense and conducted within the International Security and Defense Policy Center of the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Department of the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community. For more information on RAND’s International Security and Defense Policy Center, contact the Director, James Dobbins. He can be reached by . . .

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