What is state failure? See my conceptualisation of state failure on the right flank below.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Security incidents

I have a lot of things to work on today, so instead of some deep analysis here I'll draw attention to the useful graphs available at the Afghanistan Conflict Monitor. The one showing you security incidents by region in 2007 is not counterintuitive if you happen to know that the south and the east - and the southeast - of Afghanistan is most affected by the insurgency.
It is the one showing you security incidents by province (2007) that may be more surprising. Last year I kept regularly posting on incidents in the particularly volatile province of Uruzgan and the efforts of the Dutch, Australian, Afghan and other troops there. I never had to look very hard for topics to discuss in this Uruzgan Series I was writing. Something always happened. It is therefore a bit surprising to see that while, not very surprisingly, Kunar and Kandahar are the most violent provinces as far as the number of security incidents is concerned, Uruzgan ranks way below them.
Out of 34 provinces measured, only thirteen had a lower number of security incidents in 2007. So are you envious of the Dutch? Well, reconsider. There might be a HUGE difference between a security incident and a SECURITY INCIDENT. Like, when the Taliban tried to take Chora district back in June, or when they surged into Deh Rawod district last autumn, was a whole lot different than a single IED going off in some corner of remote countryside, potentially with noone around. These statistics don't say that much in and of themselves.
Even if, taking into account the similar regional profile of "security incidents," they do show a notable difference between the intensity of otherwise similar-profile fighting occurring in Helmand, in Kandahar and in Uruzgan, three provinces in ISAF Regional Command-South' area where non-U.S. troops, troops of lead nations such as the Brits, the Canadians and the Dutch, are at the head of ISAF's operations.


Joshua Foust said...

But Ann Marlowe said roads make IEDs disappear!

Péter MARTON said...

But Fabius Maximus said it might be better not to do anything!