Despite the continuous counter-narcotics efforts of the international community and the Afghan government throughout the past decade, Agence France-Presse wrote in April 2012 that Afghanistan continues to be a major contributor to the global drug supply. Approximately 90% of the world’s opium, most of which is processed into heroin, originates in Afghan fields. While potential opium production in Afghanistan peaked in 2007, poppy cultivation has recently risen. For instance, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) marked a 61% increase in the potential opium production between 2010 and 2011. A separate UNODC report from 2010 states that drugs and bribes are equivalent to approximately a quarter of Afghanistan’s gross domestic product (GDP).
U.S. Army TRADOC Intelligence Support Activity (TRISA) report on the Taliban’s use of civilian shields from April 2010.
United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict 2011 Annual Report
A decade after it began, the armed conflict in Afghanistan again incurred a greater human cost in 2011 than in previous years. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) documented 3,021 civilian deaths in 2011, an increase of eight percent over 2010 (2,790 civilian deaths) and a 25 percent increase from 2009 (2,412 civilian deaths). In 2012, UNAMA re-asserts the imperative for all parties to the conflict – Anti-Government Elements, and Afghan national and international military forces – to increase their commitment and efforts to protect civilians, and to comply fully with their legal obligations to minimize loss of life and injury among civilians.
U.S. Army report on “Taliban Top 5 Most Deadly Tactics Techniques and Procedures” from June 2010.
Restricted U.S. Army training presentation on “Taliban Insurgent Syndicate Intelligence Operations” from October 2009.
U.S. House of Representatives Report: Warlords Provide Security for U.S. Supply Chain in Afghanistan
Security for the U.S. Supply Chain Is Principally Provided by Warlords. The principal private security subcontractors on the HNT contract are warlords, strongmen, commanders, and militia leaders who compete with the Afghan central government for power and authority. Providing “protection” services for the U.S. supply chain empowers these warlords with money, legitimacy, and a raison d’etre for their private armies. Although many of these warlords nominally operate under private security companies licensed by the Afghan Ministry of Interior, they thrive in a vacuum of government authority and their interests are in fundamental conflict with U.S. aims to build a strong Afghan government.
(U//FOUO) BLUF: The People of FAQIR KHIEL and AFGHANYA villages are not allowing the Taliban to have a presence in their villages and have even used force to run a Taliban commander and his group out.
(U//FOUO) ATMOSPHERIC VALUE: Neutral; The Taliban has suffered heavy losses, including several commanders at the hands of Hezb-e-Islami. These losses have caused them to flee the UZBIN areas of the TAGAB District, KAPISA Province.
A current method used by the Taliban in Afghanistan to gain control of an area deemed of strategic interest to the Taliban leadership, which operates from safe havens in Pakistan or within Afghanistan, is to identify and target villages to subvert. The Taliban have recognized the necessity to operate with the cooperation of the local population, with their modus operandi being to gain villagers’ cooperation through indoctrination (preferred) or coercion (when necessary).
(U//FOUO) CIA Open Source Works Report on Afghanistan: Lessons of the Soviet War, March 27, 2009.
The recent capture of the Taliban’s code of conduct manifesto, “Rules and Regulations for Mujahidin,” has offered analysts critical clues into how the Taliban intend to operate as well as how the movement is structured according to the Taliban. Importantly, the new document provides Coalition and Afghan forces a catalog of weak points, vulnerabilities and fears currently entrenched within the Taliban organization and its top echelon of leadership. A thorough examination of the document reveals the Taliban’s attempt to wage a guerrilla campaign implementing a rudimentary population-centric strategy; while calling upon elements of Pashtunwali and Shariat (Islamic) Law into the doctrine as well.