Another year and the war in Afghanistan continues—unsuccessfully.
Internal United Nations maps show a marked deterioration of the security situation in Afghanistan during the period from March 2010 until October 2010.
This counters the Obama administration’s optimistic assessments of military progress since the surge of additional American forces began a year ago. Just like Petraeus’ surge failed in Iraq, it has failed in Afghanistan—at the cost of more American lives.
The maps are used by U.N. personnel to gauge the dangers of travel in Afghanistan by dividing the country’s districts into four categories: very high risk, high risk, medium risk and low risk.
In the October 2010 map, just as in March’s, virtually all of southern Afghanistan-the focus of the coalition’s military offensives-remained painted the red of “very high risk,” with no noted security improvements.
At the same time, the green belt of “low risk” districts in northern, central and western Afghanistan shriveled considerably.
The U.N.’s October map upgraded to “high risk” 16 previously more secure districts in Badghis, Sar-e-Pul, Balkh, Parwan, Baghlan, Samangan, Faryab, Laghman and Takhar provinces; only two previously “high risk” districts, one in Kunduz and one in Herat province, received a safer rating.
A Pentagon report mandated by Congress drew similar conclusions when it was released last month. It said attacks were up 70% since 2009 and threefold since 2007.
The United Nations is involved because the U.S.-led coalition forces operate in Afghanistan under a U.N. Security Council mandate.
As the coalition focused on the south, the insurgents fanned out during the year to the north and the west. In recent months, the Taliban seized control in areas of dozens of districts in those previously secure parts of the country, taking advantage of the sparse international troop presence there.
Many nongovernment organizations, or NGOs, operating in Afghanistan dispute that any progress has been made by the coalition this year. According to preliminary statistics compiled by the Afghanistan NGO Safety Office, which provides security advice and coordination to NGOs working in the country, the number of insurgent-initiated attacks surged by some 66% in 2010 from the previous year.
“The country as a whole is dramatically worse off than a year ago, both in terms of the insurgency’s geographical spread and its rate of attacks,” said Nic Lee, director of the Afghanistan NGO Safety Office. “Vast amounts of the country remain insecure for the unarmed civilians, and more and more areas are becoming inaccessible.”
The assessments of the U.N. Internal maps are based on factors such as insurgent activity, political stability, coalition operations and community acceptance. They contrast sharply with President Barack Obama’s recent statements that hail the coalition’s progress in the war.
At Bagram Airfield northeast of Kabul, Obama stated last month, “Today we can be proud that there are fewer areas under Taliban control and more Afghans have a chance to build a more hopeful future.”
Obama continues to mislead the American people on the war in Afghanistan.
He must be listening to the American warlord—General Petraeus.