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State of the Insurgency 2010

February 3, 2010

a new report issued by Maj.Gen. Michael Flynn has some interesting statistics and assessment of the Taliban-led insurgency.

Notably is the emphasis on the growing and relentless strength of the insurgency which the report dubs as ‘self-sustaining’.

for example, from page 19:

The situation is serious ‐‐ significant change is required.

    We have a key advantage – Taliban is not a popular movement (yet); population is frustrated by GIRoA, we must make them believe ISAF / GIRoA can succeed

  • Taliban represents an existential threat — only they have sufficient organizational capability and support to pose a threat to GIRoA’s viability (they are most coherent in the south)
  • Regional instability is rapidly getting increasing and worse
  • New strategy will incur risks — not properly executing the strategy has greater risk
  • – Longer war
    – casualties

    Greater – Higher overall costs
    – Loss of political support

  • Taliban strength is the perception that its victory is inevitable; reversing momentum requires protecting the population and changing perceptions
  • Under-resourcing significantly elevates risk, increases lag time, and is likely to cause failure 19
  • Success requires operating / thinking, in a fundamentally new way



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