New USIP report, “Securing Afghanistan,” strengthens case for urgent, sustainable reforms. This first-ever comprehensive analysis of international security assistance shows many donors have not met their Afghan commitments. A lack of focus on long-term sustainability, an inability to map the entirety of donor nations’ security assistance programs and the subsequent failure on the part of the international community to understand precisely what is needed in Afghanistan are among the leading reasons why international stabilization efforts in the country have not been more successful over the last seven years, says the new report.
This Working Paper examines the security environment in Afghanistan, assesses the programs put in place to address these threats, identifies existing gaps, and offers possible solutions. The report was vetted by top experts on Afghanistan in an extensive review process.More than seven years after U.S. forces entered Afghanistan, important gains made in bringing stability and democracy to Afghanistan are imperiled. While there have been some positive developments in such areas as economic growth, the Taliban and other insurgent groups have gained some ground in the country and in neighboring Pakistan, the drug trade remains a significant problem, and corruption has worsened in the Afghan government. According to United Nations data, insurgent incidents have increased every year since the 2001 overthrow of the Taliban regime. The situation in parts of Afghanistan’s south and east is particularly concerning because of the twin menace of insurgent and criminal activity. Despite these challenges, the insurgency remains deeply fractured among a range of groups, and most have little support among the Afghan population. This presents an opportunity for Afghans and the international community to turn the situation around.