Posted by: Christian | October 13, 2007

Afghanistan’s Security Deterioration in Visual and Quantitative Form

October 14, 2007.

The UN Department of Safety and Security has released its “Half -Year Review of the Security Situation in Afghanistan.” (hat tip: Afghanistan Conflict Monitor). You can download the report in pdf here. Much is written elsewhere about the rise in violence in Afghanistan. The UN report does that, but it also provides some numbers and graphic representations as well (note that this report is focused mostly on security for aid workers). Everybody loves graphic representations of information. This allows the media to make maps like this:

Afghanistan Security Map

Of course this is a very simplified representation of a very complicated issue. The actual report goes into some of the subtleties while still allowing itself to be accessible (understandable) for everybody. So have the number of attacks by the “Anti-Government Elements” been increasing? Yes. Especially in 2006 and so far in 2007. However, this graph is only about the quantity, not the “quality” of attacks.

Afghanistan Conflict

Of course, the report takes into consideration regional variations. This map focuses on one of several regions the UN report categorizes:

Eastern Afghanistan Security

And how about the risk for humanitarian-NGO workers? I’m sure this map is no surprise to them (pink equals bad).

Afghanistan kidnapping

This year’s kidnapping incidents up to late July:

  • 4 March – Italian journalist, Helmand.
  • 27 March – 4 Health workers, Helmand.
  • 3 April – 2 French and 3 Afghan aid workers, Farah.
  • 20 June – 6 NGO staff, Nuristan.
  • 26 June – 17 Deminers, Ghazni.
  • 28 June – German national, Farah.
  • 15 July – 2 German engineers, 4 nationals, Wardak.
  • 19 July – 23 South Koreans, Ghazni.
  • 21 July – Danish/Afghan journalist, Kunar.

Bad guy Mansur Dadullah (with the famous dead brother) had this to say in July regarding his new found freedom thanks to the trade for Italian journalist Mastrogiacomo:

“Of course, kidnapping is a very successful policy and I order all my mujahideen to kidnap foreigners of any nationality wherever they find them and then we should do the same kind of deal.”

The report makes it obvious that the “Anti-Government Elements” aren’t giving aid workers any special treatment. Incidents in 2007 up to early August:

  • Aid convoys attacked/ambushed/looted: 41.
  • Aid facilities attacked looted: 29.
  • Aid workers abducted: 69 (44 Afghans, 25 international).
  • Later killed by captors: 7 (5 Afghans, 2 foreigners).
  • Total aid workers killed: 41 (34 Afghans, 7 international).

These numbers are of course much less than deaths suffered by Afghan civilians, police and military and less than the losses by foreign troops. But these NGO workers are desperately needed in Afghanistan, and many of them need to be out in the field to be effective.

The report is quick and to the point at only 11 pages. So download the report and have a quick read.


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