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Understanding the Problem in Afghanistan: A Plan for Stability
Nathan A. Minami, 4/1/2010


With the recent decision to send an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan, there is little doubt that the stakes are increasing as America enters its ninth year of war. Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that the additional troops and associated increase in funding will produce decisive results. Indeed, if the last eight years in Afghanistan are an indicator, the situation is likely to get much worse before it improves. Therefore, it is critical that the additional assets being allocated to continue the fight in Afghanistan be employed in a manner that produces optimal results in creating stability. This paper will show that the key to determining the most optimal employment of assets is to first ensure that the problem is well defined and understood.

There are three fundamental topics that are important to understanding the current problem in Afghanistan. First, it is clear that despite a gradual increase in funding for the war in Afghanistan over the last eight years, overall stability in the country is getting worse.[1] A second aspect of the problem is that resources have not been managed in an effective manner: a problem further compounded by rampant corruption. Finally, there have been many costly individual programs initiated by the U.S. in Afghanistan that contributed very little to stability, and in some cases, fostered instability. This has resulted in a poor cost-benefit ratio for U.S. taxpayers.

Decreasing Stability Despite Increased Funding

The available evidence clearly suggests that stability is worsening despite increased funding. Since 2001, the U.S. has gradually increased the amount of money it spends on the war in Afghanistan.[2] For example, the U.S. government spent $14.7 billion and $14.5 billion on the war in Afghanistan in 2003 and 2004, respectively. These numbers increased to $20 billion in 2005, $29 billion in 2006, $36.9 billion in 2007, and $34 billion in 2008. In sum, the U.S. government has already spent more than $173 billion on the war in Afghanistan.[3] This translates to roughly $2.4 billion per month through 2008, and includes more than $15.6 billion on Afghan security forces over the course of the conflict.

Despite the increasing expenditure of America’s resources, there are myriad indicators that stability is only getting worse in Afghanistan and that the U.S. is losing the war.[4] Specifically, there has been a steady escalation of violence in Afghanistan since 2005 in terms of incidents and the number of U.S. soldiers killed and wounded.[5] Further, insurgent attacks have intensified and become more technologically sophisticated, and the government is losing the support of the population.[6] In addition, between 2006 and 2007, kinetic attacks against U.S. forces increased by 40% and from 2007 to 2008 there was an additional 33% increase in kinetic attacks.[7] Another indicator of increasing violence is that between 2007 and 2008, U.S. casualties from Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) increased by 27%. Finally, between 2007 and 2008, attacks on Afghan government officials and facilities increased by 119%, and Afghan civilian deaths increased by between 40 and 46%.[8]

The Afghan government is losing ground to the Taliban and other warlords and criminal elements daily, and as much as one-third of the country is controlled by these factions.[9] One of the most significant indicators to both the coalition and to Afghans that they are losing the war was the June 12, 2008, Taliban attack against the Sarposa prison in Kandahar that resulted in 1200 inmates being set free.[10] In addition, both U.S. and outside assessments of the state of the war in Afghanistan indicate that efforts to stabilize Afghanistan are largely failing, and that even in areas that were previously considered secure such as in the capital of Kabul, there have been an increase in the number of military and civilian deaths.[11]

Other indicators that stability is decreasing are that between 2002 and 2006, Taliban presence in the country increased by approximately 400% in terms of area of land that they control or heavily influence, and that Taliban strength in Afghanistan increased from approximately 4,000 to 17,000 in that same timeframe[12]. In addition, the Taliban are making a number of large gains in the south of the country and the poorly paid and under trained ANA is unable to hold the country even after U.S. forces clear an area.[13] Finally, much of the population is becoming disillusioned with the corrupt Afghan national and local governments and western occupiers. One reason for this is that despite 7 years of U.S. presence in the country, Afghanistan continues to have one of the lowest per capita Gross Domestic Products (GDPs) in the world at $350, and average life expectancy is only 44 years.[14]

Another major factor that is creating disillusionment in the eyes of many Afghans is the inability of the government to provide for basic health care needs.[15] For example, despite the many billions of dollars provided in assistance to the Afghan government between 2001 and 2006, only $11 per capita was spent on health care. Afghans realized that while the government highlighted that health care coverage expanded from 9% of the population in 2002 to approximately 90% of the population in 2006, the quality of basic services remained remarkably poor . The problems included long wait times, no laboratory services, almost zero access to vital drugs, and a noted disrespect by health professionals for patients. [16]

Another indicator of dismal health care is that the second largest city in Afghanistan, Kandahar, does not have level three (advanced surgical) care capability and all patients must be sent to Kabul, the only city in the country with this capability. Because of this lack of advanced medical facilities in Afghanistan, many patients go without treatment due to a lack of capacity and long distances between virtually any city or rural area in the country and the capital city.[17] Final indicators of the poor state of health care in Afghanistan are that 250 out of every 1000 children die before the age of five and that the top causes of adult deaths are infectious disease and trauma.[18]

The state of women has not improved much during the U.S. occupation either. As the average Afghan woman has 7.5 children during her life and with a 1.9% chance of dying on any given child birth experience, this means that the average woman has a 14.25% chance of dying during her life while giving birth to a child. This is the second highest maternal mortality rate in the world.[19] Another problem that exacerbates the poor conditions for women is Afghanistan’s 40% unemployment rate.[20] A final statistic that indicates not only the poor conditions for women, but for the entire population, is that 70% of the population lives on less than one dollar per day.[21]

Another reason for increased disillusionment among Afghans is that they see little improvement in terms of many other issues that are most important to them, namely improving basic necessities such as electricity, jobs, water, education and roads. Indeed, one statistic that helps to understand Afghan disillusionment with the national government and their growing support for the Taliban is the fact that the Afghan government can only raise $13 per capita in revenue each year. This is barely enough to purchase one case of soda for each Afghan citizen from the new Coca Cola factory that recently began operation in Afghanistan.[22]

Seven years after the fall of the Taliban regime, Afghanistan is still struggling to develop an effective governmental system that can provide for security, improve the nation’s economy, and enhance social conditions. In addition, in 2007 insurgent attacks closed over 35 percent of the schools, opium production reached record levels, and a lack of economic growth made it impossible to meet the population’s most basic needs.[23] A final indicator of the instability in Afghanistan is growth of the illicit drug trade. The Afghan drug trade grew by 49 percent in 2006, and police chiefs in poppy-growing districts will pay up to $100,000 for a six month appointment, for a salary of just $60 per month.[24]

Ineffective Resource Management

One of the most important reasons for the current problems in Afghanistan is not having enough resources and not using them effectively. The single biggest complicating factor that makes resource allocation so difficult in Afghanistan is the widespread corruption that occurs within the country. Indeed, corruption and inefficiency are so rampant among Afghan bureaucrats that Afghanistan is currently listed as number 172 out of 180 countries on the global corruption index.[25] The government spent only 44% of the money it received on development projects in 2006, with the rest going largely to personal bank accounts overseas. In addition, when money is spent, it is often on poorly designed and conceived projects that do little to improve the quality of life for the average Afghan.[26] Consequently, approximately two-thirds of foreign funds are brought into the country outside of the government’s allocation system, but naturally, this has a negative effect in establishing the government’s legitimacy.[27]

Another major problem with resource allocation in Afghanistan is that the United States and the coalition cannot seem to figure out how many troops are needed to get the job done. Some studies show that even an increase in International Stability Assistance Force (ISAF) troops to somewhere between 200,000 and 250,000 soldiers is unlikely to completely resolve the security dilemma in Afghanistan.[28] In addition, other studies have demonstrated that determining the correct number of troops needed to provide security is among the most important tasks in conducting counter insurgency warfare. One study showed that the biggest comparison between Afghanistan and previous U.S. failures in Lebanon and Somalia was an increased reliance on technology, poor human intelligence, and insufficient force ratios to accomplish the missions.[29]

Another major problem to creating stability thus far in Afghanistan is the lack of viable political institutions, which encourages individuals and groups to undertake initiatives that address their own personal agendas instead of that of the state.[30] One reason for this is that too much effort and focus have been placed on one man, President Hamid Karzai, Afghanistan’s president. Instead, more effort should be concentrated on establishing a legitimate representative government system that provides for effective public administration at all levels of government and allowing for accountability of government leaders. This trend has led to ineffective resource allocation by Afghan officials as each looks after his or her own personal interests in lieu of what is best for the country.[31]

Further, the international community is trying to complete too many objectives simultaneously, and in doing so, is not accomplishing any of them as there are not enough resources to do them all concurrently. Among the competing goals are the need to destroy the Taliban, create a functional democracy, eliminate narcotics, build a legitimate central government, and improve human rights.[32] This creates the conflicting challenges of establishing a coherent national government without first addressing the many warring factions within the state. Along with this, another area that has been critiqued harshly has been efforts to repair the economy without first creating a literate population. A final example of competing objectives has been efforts to stop cross-border Taliban incursions between Afghanistan and Pakistan without first creating an effective foreign policy arm within the Afghan government to build a relationship with the Pakistan government. [33]

Indeed, the problem with Pakistan is not trivial.[34] Much of the problem has been a result of Afghanistan’s failure to forgive Pakistan’s support of the Taliban regime in the 1990s. Another complicating factor has been President Karzai’s threats to violate Pakistan’s sovereignty by sending troops to attack the Taliban inside Pakistan. These factors have prevented Afghanistan from forming a strategic alliance with Pakistan against the Taliban.[35]

Other resource allocation problems have derived from a lack of planning for Afghanistan due to a primary focus in Iraq and ISAF policy has not been consistent or well thought out. Indeed, there has not been enough troops in Afghanistan, the employment of resources such as air power often leads to drastic repercussion and alienation of the population, and there is still a drastic shortage in electricity and running water.[36] Another problem that detracts from effective resource management are that coalition actions lack unity of effort due to each nation placing their own caveats on employment of their forces and an overall poor ability to coordinate operations with Afghan security forces. Other problems that lead to poor resource management are a lack of key enablers to support military operations such as aviation assets, ISR capabilities, and language skills.[37]

Another problem is that there has been a “strategic drift, conflicting tactics, and too few troops” which has contributed to poor progress in Afghanistan.[38] This lack of unity of effort has led to sub-optimal, and in some cases poor resource allocation within Afghanistan. Another factor that complicates the problem is that most of the conflict in Afghanistan is rural, and therefore regional diplomacy is much more important than it is in Iraq. Part of this effort requires empowerment of local officials while showing the people that the Afghan government and coalition can provide the basic services that they need. Indeed, this finding is supported by lessons from Vietnam and the study of other insurgencies. These studies showed that more focus should be on protecting civilians in lieu of destroying the enemy, assuming greater risk, and using the minimum force necessary to accomplish objectives.[39]

Another example suggesting there is a substantial resource allocation problem in Afghanistan is evidenced in reviewing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) findings and conclusions that followed from the summer of 2008 NATO conference in Bucharest. The summit concluded that there is a need to fill ISAF manning shortfalls, and that training teams and critical enablers such as combat aviation and engineers need to be strengthened with more personnel and equipment.[40] Summit participants also highlighted that the goal is to achieve an 80,000 strong ANA by 2010. These findings are interesting because the NATO goal of 80,000 soldiers for the ANA is only one-third of what many counterinsurgency experts and official army doctrine state are needed to win against an insurgency.[41]

From a historical perspective, Afghanistan and its diverse citizens have been at the crossroads of many great empires ranging from the Persians, to the Greeks, the Mongols, the British and Russia. Despite being invaded on numerous occasions throughout their history, Afghans have been able to avoid being conquered and oppressed by fleeing into the country’s deep mountain ranges that are nearly impenetrable for invading forces. From these experiences, Afghans developed a unique individuality and tribal loyalty and developed a fierce and renowned warrior ethic. Consequently, many of the challenges that the U.S. currently faces with regards to resource management and creating stability derives from Afghanistan’s unique history.[42]

A History of Failed Programs

There are many examples of US funded programs in Afghanistan that have failed and ultimately produced a waste of resources. One example is the $1.6 billion national Civil Service Training Institute and other technical assistance programs that failed due to widespread incompetence and corruption.[43] As an example of this, only half of the judicial system positions in Afghanistan are filled and a mere one-third of these judges have a university degree. In addition, Afghanistan’s traditional tribal law has historically been effective for the population, and even the Taliban’s harsh judicial system was more efficient than the current corrupt system. [44] Indeed, ordinary citizens in Kandahar province have actually turned to Taliban courts to address their grievances instead of the corrupt and ineffective government courts.[45] There is also evidence that this is occurring on a larger level throughout the entire country. The main reason for this is that the population does not trust the corrupt government officials and leaders.[46] One reason that judges are so prone to corruption is that they make just $40 to $60 per month, while a low ranking drug smuggler earns over $1000 per month.[47]

Attempts at legal reform since 2001 have also been largely ineffective. Despite efforts by the West to create a new justice system in Afghanistan, it has largely failed because in order for it to be seen as legitimate by Afghans, it must be based on the foundations of traditional Afghan justice, which are Islamic law and Afghan traditions. Complicating efforts to reform the judicial system, roughly 90% of government expenditures on the justice system come through foreign funds. In addition, approximately 75% of this is administered at the district level or below, which means senior Afghan leaders have little say in justice sector reform and feel that the system is not inclusive or accommodating.[48]

Indeed, the push for a Western based legal system has created a perception that U.S. forces are attempting to use Western legal morals in an attempt to supplant Islamic codes. This perception led to an ideological chasm between the people and the Afghan government regarding the new judicial system, a chasm that is similar to the more general one that exists between Islamists and the West. Consequently, much of the public, especially those who live in rural areas, have chosen in the last few years to support the Taliban system which is perceived as being more Afghan, more Islamic, and most importantly, more effective.[49]

Another failed program has been money spent by the U.S. and its allies in trying to create a democratic government in Afghanistan. Indeed, the Afghan government faces so many challenges that it has been overwhelmed in many regards. Many of the problems currently challenging the Karzai government were also faced by the Soviet Union and Afghan communist leaders during the1980-1988 war in Afghanistan.[50] One example was efforts to change and modernize some aspects of Afghan life, such as government and human rights, which alienated and even infuriated many Afghans. This, in turn, encouraged the Afghans to fight against the Soviet supported regime.[51] In addition, resources spent on democratic reform and democratic judicial systems can actually inhibit an occupying force’s ability to create stability in the short term if the population’s traditional political systems are diametrically opposed to democracy or the preconditions for democracy are not met.[52]

Another example of a program that has completely failed in Afghanistan involves women’s rights. While the new Afghan government has made inroads towards providing more freedom and rights to women such as the availability of education, much more work needs to be done. One example is that in 2006, there were 106 cases in which women committed self-immolation in order to protest their dire and hopeless position in society. Other dismal statistics that indicate the poor condition of women and lack of progress in women’s affairs are that 57% of Afghan women marry before age 16 and 70-80% of marriages are arranged or forced marriages. In addition, the probability that a girl will graduate from primary school is half that for a boy, and Afghanistan has the second highest maternal mortality rate in the world.[53]

There have been other failed programs in Afghanistan. For example, a number of U.S. efforts and initiatives such as making deals with Taliban and criminal leaders that have backfired. Attempts to build the ANA and other Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) have failed in both qualitative and quantitative terms. Billions of dollars have been spent on the ANA but there are currently only 80,000 soldiers, which are not enough and the ANA has a dearth of enablers with only 31 supporting helicopters. One reason for the failure to create successful ANSF is that there is a lack of training teams with only 78% of positions for the ANA and 33% of the positions for the ANP being filled.[54] Finally, the failure of ANSF has been a major factor in the rise of the neo-Taliban movement in southern Afghanistan.[55]

Because President Karzai was unable to create an effective ANSF early in his tenure, Karzai attempted to use local warlords to provide security. Consequently, arms shipments and monetary payments were delivered to warlords to make this possible.[56] This plan failed as Afghan warlords are now seen as a major threat to security and an obstacle in creating a legitimate government.[57] One of the biggest failures with regards to warlords were the weapons buy-back programs that attempted to get warring factions to turn-in their weapons and return to more peaceful activities. With the failure of Afghanistan’s own police and army to provide security combined with insufficient numbers of ISAF troops to provide the same, many Afghans in the southern region identified the Taliban as being most capable of providing security, especially among the lowest members of society[58].

Much of the reason for the U.S.’s failure in Afghanistan can be attributed to the success of Taliban forces in striking quickly and effectively in many places around Afghanistan while eluding major drawn out battles with U.S. forces.[59] The implication is that the U.S. should not focus on killing and capturing the enemy; instead the U.S. should focus on increased use of Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) and widespread economic development. This argument is supported by the fact that one of the principal reasons for government and coalition failure thus far has been an inability of the Afghan national government to extend its presence throughout the country. This resulted in an inability to secure rural areas and improve quality of life, especially in the southern half of the country.[60]

In addition, there have been too few forces on the ground which has prevented U.S. forces from holding terrain once it is cleared of the enemy. This allows the Taliban to return shortly after U.S. forces clear them out. This issue is complicated, however, and is not as simple as merely increasing U.S. troop levels. Increasing the number of U.S. forces could easily create more violent engagements with the Taliban and Al Qaeda.[61] This is important to consider as much of the money spent on U.S. kinetic operations to destroy Taliban and terrorist forces have backfired when innocent civilians were killed in the process. In 2007 alone, at least 1500 civilians lost their lives in the cross fire between ISAF and Taliban forces, with 47 deaths and over 100 civilian injuries in one errant air strike alone. In addition, the policy of using what is perceived as random air strikes that often kill civilians has been one of the major factors that has turned much of the population against the Afghan government and coalition forces operating in Afghanistan.[62]

Another major problem that has contributed to the U.S. failure in Afghanistan is the allocation of resources to the wrong problems. Specifically, money allocated to war fighting and even the development of democracy has contributed very little to creating stability, and may even harm efforts to create stability. Some arguments have been made that more money should be spent on programs to bring about national reconciliation between tribes and warring factions[63]. In addition, popular programs such as projects dedicated towards enhancing education and schools for both boys and girls are failing because of a lack of security.[64] In 2007 alone, insurgent attacks forced 35% of the schools in Afghanistan that had been built by coalition forces or with coalition money to be closed.[65]

A Way Ahead

First, the previous discussion clearly demonstrates that the way ahead will not be easy. In many ways the problem in Afghanistan is much more complex and difficult than what the U.S. has faced in Iraq. To be successful, the U.S. must implement short term measures to decrease the violence and bring immediate security to the population. In itself, however, these short term efforts will be for nothing if the U.S. and the government of Afghanistan cannot implement several long term changes.

Immediately, the U.S. must focus entirely on the population of Afghanistan and address their immediate needs. If the U.S. and the Karzai government cannot stop the population from turning to the Taliban, they will fail. The first and quintessential condition that needs to be achieved is security. To do this, special focus will have to be placed on the major population centers, but the security of villagers in outlying areas cannot be overlooked either. Thus, a substantial amount of security forces will be needed, numbers that the U.S. and its allies are simply incapable of providing. Thus, to gain these forces, the U.S. and the coalition will need to contribute more forces themselves, focus on improving both the quality and quantity of ISAF, and broker deals with warring factions to increase security in their areas. This implies that Afghanistan needs its own Sons of Iraq program, but one that does not place increased power in the hands of warlords and one that focus entirely on securing the population from Taliban influence and the actions of common criminals.

Further, combat actions by coalition forces that cause collateral damage must be completely eliminated. Nothing is more detrimental to winning the support of the population than errant U.S. air strikes that kill dozens of innocent civilians. This means that all operations need to be planned and executed in a manner where threats can be mitigated without the need for U.S. air strikes, except in the most remote locations.

Next, the U.S. must address the widespread disillusionment that has been created not only by the lack of security and errant U.S. airstrikes, but by the fact that for 8 years the most powerful country in the world has done little to help improve the basic quality of life of one of the most poor and destitute peoples in the world. Immediate efforts must be undertaken to bring clean water and electricity to all Afghans, and jobs must be created that give people hope for a better future. Finally, the dismal health care system needs to be improved immediately, with improved access to doctors, facilities and drugs for all Afghans.

All of these efforts must be linked to a comprehensive Information Operations campaign that gives all Afghans promise and hope for a better future.

The aforementioned actions will help to create the conditions that will allow for near-term security and implementation of more permanent programs necessary for long term success. In order to achieve this long term success, the first and foremost important condition that must be created is improvement in Afghanistan’s education system. A largely illiterate population does not allow for the training of doctors, lawyers, judges, engineers, international business people, and competent government officials who are critical to a successful and even semi-developed country. Without education, it will be impossible to create a thriving Afghan economy that is capable of self-sustainment and not reliant on long-term international assistance. Indeed, current programs are focused on handing out fish so that Afghans do not starve, but long-term success will rely on teaching Afghans to fish for themselves. To do this, education is paramount.

Next, long term success will be impossible without reducing corruption to acceptable levels. While any corruption might be unacceptable to us in the west, this may also be an impossible goal for Afghanistan. Instead, efforts should be taken that create accountability within the government system, starting with the leaders of the national government and permeating down to local village and town leaders. It is hard to create effective governance and economic systems when approximately 50% of international aid is ciphered into private accounts. Reducing this to 10% or lower would create the conditions that allow for long term growth. A fully capable and self-reliant security apparatus is also needed, one that is accountable to elected officials and to the people alike. This means competent police and internal security forces that can provide security for every Afghan, as well as a capable military that can protect the country from external threats.

Finally, Afghanistan needs a functioning economy. Such an economy will likely need to be focused on agriculture but will also need to expand to other sectors of the economy, namely industry. Creation of a skilled population through education and training could help Afghanistan to obtain a competitive advantage in various industries, as it has a large population in need of jobs and who will work for relatively low wages.

In conclusion, the way ahead will not be easy. The myriad problems that must be overcome are daunting. But, if the efforts of the last 8 years are not to be lost, special effort must be made to implement the short term solutions mentioned in this paper while also undertaking actions for the long term sustainment and development of the country.

About the Author

Major Nathan Minami is an active duty Army officer and formerly an Assistant Professor in the Department of Systems Engineering at the United States Military Academy. His education includes a B.S. from USMA and an M.S. from MIT. Major Minami has served on four operational/combat deployments around the world. He has published more than a dozen articles and papers and is currently assigned as the Chief of Plans for the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division in Iraq. The views reflected in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect those of Strategic Insights or the United States Army.


1. Bulent Aras and Sule Toktas. “Afghanistan’s Security: Political, Process, State-Building and Narcotics,” Middle East Policy 15, no. 2 (Summer 2008). See also, Amy Belasco. “The Cost of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Other Global War on Terror Operations Since 9/11,” CRS Report for Congress, May 15, 2009.

2. Aras and Toktas, Ibid.

3. Ibid.

4. Seth G. Jones, In the Graveyard of Empires (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2009).

5. Aras and Toktas, Op. Cit.

6. Ibid.

7. Kenneth Katzman. “Afghanistan: Post-war governance, security, and U.S. policy,” CRS Report for Congress, March 31, 2008. See also, Catherine Dale. “War in Afghanistan: Strategy, military operations, and issues for congress,” CRS Report for Congress, February 27, 2009.

8. Dale, Ibid..

9. Ibid.

10. Kenneth Katzman, Op. Cit. See also Rani Mullen. “Afghanistan in 2008: State building at the precipice,” Asian Survey 49, No. 1 (January 2009), 28-39.

11. Kenneth Katzman, Ibid.

12. Antonio Giustozzi, Koran, Kalashnikov, and Laptop (New York: Columbia University Press.)

13. Ed Warner, “America needs a development plan for Afghanistan today,” The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs 27, No. 3 (April 2008), 38-39.

14. Nathanial Fick and John Nagl, “Counterinsurgency field manual: Afghanistan edition,” Foreign Policy 47 (January 2009).

15. Wayne Kondro, “Afghanistan: Outside the comfort zone in a war zone,” Canadian Medical Association Journal, 177, No. 2 (July 2007). See also Anita Raj, Charlemagne Gomez and Jay Silverman, “Driven to a fiery death: The tragedy of self-immolation in Afghanistan,” New England Journal of Medicine 358, No. 21 (May 2008), 2201-2203.

16. Leslie et al., “Towards sustainable delivery of health services in Afghanistan: Options for the future,” Bulletin of the World Health Organization 85, No. 9 (March 2009).

17. Wayne Kondro, Op. Cit.

18. Aaron Saguil and Terrance McCormak. “Preparing for Afghanistan’s medical future,” Canadian Medical Association Journal, 178, No. 8, 990 (April 2008).

19. Raj et al, Op. Cit. See also Aaron Saguil and Terrance McCormak, Op. Cit.

20. Raj et al, Ibid.

21. Rani Mullen, Op. Cit.

22. Nita Colaco, “Crooked progress: Afghanistan tackles corruption,” Harvard International Review 30, No. 3 (Fall 2008), 12-13. See also Barnett Rubin, “Saving Afghanistan,” Foreign Affairs, January/ February 2007.

23. Barnett Rubin, Ibid.

24. Ibid.

25. Nita Colaco, Op. Cit.

26. Barnett Rubin, Op. Cit.

27. Nita Colaco, Op. Cit. See also Katherine Dale, Op. Cit.

28. Aras and Toktas, Op. Cit.

29. Adam Lowther, Americans and asymmetric conflict: Lebanon, Somalia, and Afghanistan (Westport, CT: Praeger. 2007).

30. Aras and Toktas, Op. Cit.

31. Katerine Adeney, “Constitutional design and the political salience of “community” identity in Afghanistan,” Asian Survey 48, No. 4 (July/August 2008), 535-557.

32. Ed Warner, Op. Cit.

33. Victor Hanson, “Phony war: Afghanistan and the democrats,” World Affairs, Winter 2009, 11- 20.

34. Ahmed Rashid, Descent into chaos: The U.S. and the disaster in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia (London, England: Penguin Books, 2009).

35. Nasreen Akhtar, “Pakistan, Afghanistan, and the Taliban,” International Journal on World Peace 25, No. 4 (December 2008), 49-73.

36. Ed Warner, Op. Cit.

37. Catherine Dale, Op. Cit.

38. Fick and John Nagl, Op. Cit.

39. Ibid. See also Harry Summers, On Strategy: A critical analysis of the Vietnam war (Novato, CA: Presidio Press, 1982).

40. NATO Document, “NATO summit: ISAF strategic vision for Afghanistan,” Hampton Roads International Security Quarterly, July 2008, 4143-4145.

41. Fick and Nagl, Op. Cit. See also David Galula, Counterinsurgency warfare: Theory and practice (Westport, CT: Greenwood Publishing, 1964).

42. Stephen Tanner, Afghanistan: A military history from Alexander the Great to the fall of the Taliban (Cambridge, Mass.: Da Capo Press, 2002).

43. Nita Colaco, Op. Cit.

44. Ed Warner, Op. Cit.

45. Aras and Toktas, Op. Cit.

46. Barnett Rubin, Op. Cit.

47. Cherif Bassiouni, “In Afghanistan and Iraq: Strengthening the rule of law through judicial education and law school development,” The Judges’ Journal 47, No. 2 (2008), 24-31.

48. Astri Suhrke and Kaja Borchgrevink, “Negotiating justice sector reform in Afghanistan,” Crime Law and Social Change 51 (March 2009), 211-230.

49. Ibid.

50. Ed Warner, Op. Cit.

51. Lester Grau and Michael Gress, The Soviet-Afghan War: How a Superpower Fought and Lost (Small War Library, 2002).

52. Sarah Dimick, Democracy and the reconstruction in Afghanistan (Ottawa: Carleton University, 2006).

53. Raj et al., Op Cit.

54. Catherine Dale, Op. Cit.

55. Heather Hrychuk, “Lost in Translation: The search for 3d in Afghanistan,” Unpublished master’s thesis, Royal Military College of Canada, 2007.

56. Schetter et al, “Beyond warlordism: The local security architecture in Afghanistan,” Journal for International Relations and Global Trends, 2007.

57. Catherine Dale, Op. Cit. See also Victor Hanson, Op. Cit.

58. Schetter et al., Op. Cit.

59. Thomas Johnson and M. Chris Mason, “Understanding the Taliban and insurgency in Afghanistan,” Elsevier Limited, Winter 2007, 71-89.

60. Ibid.

61. Heather Hrychuk, Op. Cit.

62. Josh Walsh. “A look at civilian deaths in Afghanistan,” The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs 27, No. 4 (May 2008), 75-76.

63. Antonio Giustozzi, Op. Cit.

64. Kenneth Katzman, Op. Cit.

65. Barnett Rubin, Op. Cit.


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