What Surge? Afghanistan’s Most Violent Places Stay Bad, Despite Extra Troops

When President Obama surged 30,000 additional U.S. troops into Afghanistan in 2010, the new forces were concentrated overwhelmingly on two volatile areas of southern Afghanistan: Helmand and Kandahar Provinces. Now, as the troop surge is practically over, those provinces still rank as the most violent in the entire country. Read more »

Top U.S. General: We Don’t Know Why Afghan Troops Are Killing Us

In what may have been the bluntest press conference delivered by a top commander since the U.S. went to war in 2001, Gen. John Allen told Pentagon reporters that he wasn't sure why Afghan troops were killing their American counterparts; that he expected Afghanistan will still suffer from "violence" after U.S. combat ends in 2014; and that a reduction in violence in the country since last year "may not be statistically significant." Read more »

NATO Strategic Comm and Narrative in Afghanistan

by Steven R. Corman I am currently in Izmir, Turkey attending the 5th NATO SHAPE Conference on Strategic Communication.  Narrative has been an important theme at the conference. Gen. John Allen, commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan, addressed the topic in his keynote. A panel (on which I presented) was devoted to it as well.  Both dealt with issues of considerable interest, namely how NATO and ISAF would handle strategic communication […] Read more »