Afghanistan: Measuring strategy's effects
- Case study: Nawa District
Fighting the war differently
It was not until this fall that Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top coalition commander, proclaimed that the United States finally had “all the inputs right” in Afghanistan. Although President Obama announced a surge of 30,000 troops last December, the final wave of new forces did not arrive until October. The military also has spent the past year bringing in more desperately needed equipment. On the civilian side, the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development have sent hundreds more people to help rebuild the country and improve local government. Here is a closer look at what has been added:
U.S. TROOP LEVELS
Hundreds more Special Operations troops have been sent to Afghanistan this year, and they have been significantly more active. In the spring, they averaged about five missions a night. By the fall, they were averaging 17 raids a night. In a three-month period ending Nov. 11, they conducted 1,572 operations, resulting in 368 insurgent leaders killed or captured, and 968 lower-level insurgents killed and 2,477 of them captured, according to NATO statistics.
Other Special Operations units have been focused on recruiting and training Afghans to participate in armed village defense forces.
AFGHAN SECURITY FORCES
More than $4.7 billion was appropriated for reconstruction and development in the 2010 fiscal year. Much of the money has gone to pay for the Afghan government’s basic operations and for assistance programs, including support for farmers. The contingent of U.S. diplomats, reconstruction specialists and other civilian experts has increased from 320 at the end of 2008 to about 1,100 now.