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Shape, Clear, Hold, and Build
The Full Metrics of the Afghan War
By Dr. Anthony H. Cordesman
With the Assistance of Nicholas Greenough
March 2, 2010
The “metrics” of the Afghan War are changing. As General McChrystal has stated, the steady deterioration that has taken place since 2003 seems to have halted. ISAF and the Afghan government have begun to implement the a strategy, new ISAF and Afghan resources are being deployed, and a more integrated civil-military effort is just beginning to take place in the field. The situation remains critical, however, and it is important to understand both the key trends in the war, and just how complex any valid set of metrics has to be to show all of the trends involved.
The Burke Chair has prepared a summary of these metrics, entitled “Shape, Clear, Hold, Build, and Transfer:The Full Metrics of the Afghan War” available at: http://csis.org/files/publication/100302_afghan_metrics_combined.pdf
Please note that this report is 7 MB. For those with slower download speeds, the report has been split into two smaller sections.
The first provides a historical overview of the war between 2001 and 2009. This analysis is entitled “Shape, Clear, Hold, Build, and Transfer: The Metrics of the Afghan War 2001-2009” and is available at the CSIS web site at http://csis.org/files/publication/100301_AfghanMetrics_2001-2009.pdf .
The second is focused on assessing the strengths and weaknesses of the new Afghan war strategy as it moves forward. This analysis is entitled “Shape, Clear, Hold, Build, and Transfer: Can the New Strategy Work in Afghanistan?” And is available at the CSIS web site at http://csis.org/files/publication/100301_AfghanMetrics_2010_and_beyond.pdf.
These documents rely largely on official sources, and this limits some aspects of their coverage because of security concerns. It should also be stressed that the Afghan conflict is very much an active war, and one in which a new strategy, new resources and a new level of civil-military integration are just being applied.
As a result, these metrics are partial snapshot of the war in early March, and the reader should be aware of their limits. These graphics are being regularly revised, however, and any suggestions, additions, and updates would be most helpful. Please send such information to Adam Mausner at email@example.com.
The Burke Chair has recently published a book on the Afghan Security Forces: Winning in Afghanistan: Creating Effective Afghan Security Forces
This book is a comprehensive look at the capabilities and shortcomings of the Afghan security forces, and the resources and policies needed to make them an effective force.
In addition, several other reports are available that describe the changes necessary to develop an effective strategy and provide accurate metrics on the war. These reports are:
“Obama’s New Strategy in Afghanistan” This is an analysis of President Obama’s new strategy found here:
“The Afghan Narcotics Industry” This presentation describes the Afghan Narcotics industry in comprehensive detail through graphics and maps.
“Shape, Clear, Hold, and Build: The Uncertain Metrics of the Afghan War,” This is a series of presentations that survey maps and graphics from a range of sources that cover the war and bring together a range of metrics in key areas:
“The Afghanistan Campaign: Can We Win?”
“The New Metrics of Afghanistan: The Data Needed to Support Shape, Clear, Hold, and Build”:
For a full overview of the resources needed to win in Afghanistan, please read the full report “Resourcing for Defeat: Critical Failures in Planning, Programming, Budgeting and Resourcing the Afghan and Iraq Wars”:
These reports are regularly updated and expanded. We would greatly appreciate suggestions as to additional material that should be included. Such suggestions should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Cordesman recently returned from Afghanistan, where he served as a member of General Stanley A. McChrystal’s Strategic Assessment Group, but the views in these reports are purely his own
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The Burke Chair in Strategy is held by Anthony H. Cordesman
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The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) is a private, tax-exempt institution focusing on international public policy issues. Its research is nonpartisan and nonproprietary. CSIS does not take specific policy positions; accordingly, all views, positions, and conclusions expressed in these publications should be understood to be solely those of the authors.
2010-03-02 21:28:56 UTC