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

Monday, November 16, 2009

Direct-fire attacks on the rise, still

I have blogged before about the war in Afghanistan not turning more asymmetrical in the sense of there being less firefights. It is true that coalition troops suffer most of their casualties because of IEDs. But direct fire attacks are on the increase, too. Whether this will change if the imperfect Afghanistan-Pakistan hammer-and-anvil once (ever) starts to squeeze out life from the various insurgencies in the region is for the future to tell. It is also interesting to ponder if locally one may see some improvements, in a few places. But overall, the trend is not a pleasant one, and I have some data now, running up to this summer, which I am ready to show here. Grey is the colour for direct-fire attacks, and you can watch them become more frequent from January 2007 to May 2009, in the ISAF Regional Command-South' area of operations. Caveat: the people who assembled this graph made a mistake in that it is monthly attacks for which you get figures here, and not "daily attacks." (And so of course you didn't have 400+ IEDs a day in RC-S in May this year.) Nevertheless the fact remains that the trend of frequency is going up, across the yearly cyclicity of the data.
(I found this in a study about Australia's role in building the ANA, btw, which can be downloaded from this page.)
From page 5, then:

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