Internal United Nations maps show a marked deterioration of the security situation in Afghanistan during this year's fighting season, countering the Obama administration's optimistic assessments of military progress since the surge of additional American forces began a year ago...The President also stated in a press conference earlier this month that the U.S was on track to start pulling out troops next July as planned. While the President's assessment appears to be incorrect, his pledge to begin withdrawing U.S. troops as early as July is nevertheless a morale booster for the Taliban and will ultimately create the strategic balance that he is seeking in Afghanistan.
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. As a result of the continued violence, the Taliban still threaten the Afghan government, according to the report. The White House's National Security Council declined to comment.
The director of communications for the U.N. in Afghanistan, Kieran Dwyer, said he couldn't comment on classified maps. But, he said, "in the course of 2010, the security situation in many parts of the country has become unstable where it previously had not been so. There is violence happening in more parts of the country..."
The assessments of the U.N. accessibility maps, based on factors such as insurgent activity, political stability, coalition operations and community acceptance, contrast with President Barack Obama's recent statements that hail the coalition's progress in the war.
"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," Mr. Obama told American troops during a visit to the Bagram Air Field northeast of Kabul earlier this month.
Monday, December 27, 2010
Classified maps show security in Afghanistan is worsening, despite Obama's assurances that the war is 'on track'
From the Wall Street Journal:
Posted by Darrin at 12/27/2010