27 September 2010

Etzioni on yardstick for success in Afghanistan

An excerpt from the article:

To measure progress on this front one, would have to know, for instance, that, if following the last election, the public does feel that the Karzai government is more representative and less fraudulent? Hardly. Does the public feel that the Karzai government and its local representatives, including the police and army, are less corrupt? No indication to this effect. Do they feel minimally secure in their homes and public spaces? Evidence shows to the contrary; the Taliban has been spreading in the northern, non-Pashtun areas of Afghanistan and holding on to most of the Southern ones. According to the Afghan NGO Safety Office, Afghanistan is more dangerous now than at any time since 2001. Four years ago, insurgents were active in only four Afghan provinces. Now, they are active in 33 of 34. Last August, insurgents carried out 630 attacks. This August, they carried out 1,353. The International Security Assistance Force recorded 4,919 “kinetic events” (small-arms fire, bombs and shelling, etc.) in August, a 49% increase over August 2009. Thus a proper set of measurements would show a retrogression rather than progress.

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