Accession Number:



Transforming the Conflict in Afghanistan

Descriptive Note:

Journal Article

Corporate Author:

Orbis Operations LLC McLean United States

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



Many have characterized the war in Afghanistan as a violent political argument between the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan with its coalition partners and the Taliban, with the population watching and waiting to decide whom to join, and when. The main value of this analogy is not in its characterization of the war but in its explanation of why the Afghan government and the coalition are finding it so difficult to gain traction against a largely unpopular insurgency. By framing the options as a simple binary choice between the government with its hierarchical, remote, and centralized governing structure and the Taliban with its violently repressive but locally present shadow government, the war is representedor misrepresentedas a matter of unattractive choices that impel the population to remain on the sidelines waiting to see who will win. Unfortunately, the political clock is running out in Afghanistan. It is imperative for the International Security Assistance Force ISAF and Afghan National Security Forces ANSF to capitalize on the progress in security made in the fall and winter of 2010 and continue to show progress during the fall of 2011. This is necessary in order to buy the time and the coalition resources required for an orderly and responsible transition to Afghan-led security by the end of 2014.

Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Government and Political Science

Distribution Statement: