Afghan Perceptions of International Forces vs. Insurgents
Open Society Foundations - Open Society Foundations
The current strategy in Afghanistan depends now more than ever on the cooperation and trust of Afghan communities. However, a new study by the Open Society Foundations shows that the past nine years of civilian casualties, wrongful and abusive detentions, deteriorating security, and a lack of accountability by international forces have eroded much of that trust.Failure to understand and respond to Afghan anger over the conduct of international forces and broader international community policies has led to ill-informed policymaking that has not been as effective as possible, or worse, has exacerbated existing problems. Many Afghans interviewed not only regarded the international community with suspicion, many accused internationals, and the international military in particular, of directly or indirectly supporting insurgents in order to justify their continued presence in Afghanistan.This panel event explores where these perceptions come from and their impact on the success of policies ranging from counterinsurgency to reconciliation to Afghan government stabilization efforts.