Accession Number:

ADA532551

Title:

Counterinsurgency in Nangarhar Province, Eastern Afghanistan, 2004-2008

Descriptive Note:

Journal article

Corporate Author:

FOREIGN SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA WASHINGTON DC

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2010-12-01

Pagination or Media Count:

10.0

Abstract:

During the period from 2004 to 2008, the eastern Afghanistan province of Nangarhar showed considerable progress in both counterinsurgency COIN and counternarcotics. These successes were the result of several factors, only some of which were the considerable efforts and resources of the U.S. military, other U.S. agencies, and coalition partners. Although what worked there is not necessarily replicable in other provinces, given Afghanistans considerable diversity, some of the strategies seem relevant beyond Nangarhar, particularly efforts at interagency coordination. The security situation was tenuous in 2004, but by 2008 had improved dramatically to the point where Afghan security forces had the lead. Local governance, particularly at the provincial level, had begun to form and implement some policies. The economy expanded, especially through agriculture, small businesses, trade, and, in some years, illicit production of opium. During two growing seasons the poppy crop was considerably reduced, and in 2007 and 2008, it was almost eliminated. Again, this was a result of various factors coming together. The growth of the licit economy gave alternatives to growing poppy or trafficking opium. In both periods, the government, the mullahs, and to some extent the tribes encouraged farmers not to grow poppy. The increased security by 2007 allowed the police, army, and eradication units to reliably operate through much of the province. The appointment of a strong governor who implemented an aggressive counternarcotics strategy also helped. Another significant factor in Nangarhars progress was improved coordination among U.S. government agencies and the U.S. military. While Nangarhar made significant progress during this period, considerable problems remain, and the advances are fragile and reversible. There needs to be a long-term commitment across all three pillars of the COIN strategy security, economic development, and governance.

Subject Categories:

  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Unconventional Warfare

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE