Afghanistan Sguardi e Analisi

Afghanistan Sguardi e Analisi

Afghanistan: Sguardi e analisi" è un progetto aperto finalizzato a comprendere e discutere le ragioni - e le possibili soluzioni - dei conflitti afghani.

lunedì 30 marzo 2015


by Andrea Beccaro, Claudio Bertolotti
Suicide-attacks are one of the most important aspects of modern conflicts. According to Tosini between December 1981 (date of the first suicide-attack) and December 2010 date of the end of the scholar’s research there have been 2.713 suicide-attacks worldwide, which have caused about 28.000 deaths. Afghanistan and Iraq play the biggest role: between March 2003 and May 2010 there have been 1321 attacks of this kind in Iraq which have caused more than 13.000 deaths. Since 1981 Afghanistan and Iraq have been reaching 68% of all suicide-bombings and 55% of all casualties together. These figures show how big an impact the suicide tactics had during the Iraq war, in addition suicide tactics continues to have a main role in Islamic State warfare: for example in January 2015 alone we can count 35 suicide-attacks in Iraq. Moreover, suicide-attacks played an important role in other conflicts such as the ones in Lebanon, Israel, Sri Lanka, Kashmir, Turkey, Afghanistan, and worldwide attacks can be linked to the global organization of al-Qaeda. Objectives, political and war situations are very different in these countries, thus the various features of suicide bombings make finding a single explanation for this phenomenon difficult.

Andrea Beccaro, Ph.D, is DAAD Fellow at Otto-Suhr-Institut für Politikwissenschaft, Freie Universität in Berlin. 
Claudio Bertolotti, Ph.D, is Senior Research fellow at the Italian Military Centre for Strategic Studies (CeMiSS).

mercoledì 4 marzo 2015


by Claudio Bertolotti

2014 was the year of the substantial breakdown of the ‘military's approach’; January 2015 is the formal beginning of the NATO’s new commitment to Afghanistan: the NATO ‘Resolute Support Mission’ (RSM) represents the medium-long term activity of the Alliance, a direct but reduced support to the Afghan Security Forces (ANSF).
The foreign military presence will continue, on the one hand, with the NATO’s contribute – ‘advise’, ‘assist’ and ‘train’ – and, on the other hand, with the US enduring effort on the battlefield – a separated ‘combat mission’ (formally ‘counter-terrorism’) under US responsibility.
Prospective analysis imposes to look at 2015-2016 taking into account the elements influencing the development of Afghanistan for the next two-years: international political and economic support, regional country’s interests, political power-sharing involving the power groups (diarchy Ghani-Abdullah), NATO residual military presence, reduced international interests for Afghanistan, a weak State based on endemic corruption, lack of a capable administrative leadership.
Several threats to stabilization can be identified: firstly the enduring permanent conflict and the inadequate Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF); in particular, the stepped-up transition of security responsibilities from ISAF to Afghan forces and the closure of international forward operating bases was met with increased attacks by AOG.
Potential encouraging development are also on the ground: the International community commitment to Afghanistan, the natural and mineral resources, the commercial-export businesses, and the primary role of China and Iran. Furthermore, cooperation and support offered by Italy, Germany, Turkey and US represent another important variable.
The threats to Afghanistan stability are: the reduced presence of international troops – which lead to a lack in security conditions – and the increased operational capabilities of the Armed Opposition Groups (AOGs) able to destabilize the country.
From a political-social perspective, it is assessed the consequence of dynamics effects generated by:I. Capability to create a ‘balance of power’;
II. Power-sharing process;
III. Constitutional revision;
IV. September political election.
Additionally, the AOGs dynamics and strategy could determine the State collapse.

Analysis, assessment, considerations
In brief, the short-term scenario may be characterized by:
I. General increasing of conflicts (consequence of internal actors – Afghan AOGs – and external newcomers – ISIS),
II. Reduction of the role of the Afghan State,
III. political and social instability.

Furtherly, the Afghan State is:
- politically weak and unable to manage the balance of power;
- vulnerable to AOGs pressure;
- unstable from the security perspective;
- not capable to manage the financial budget.

The International community is concluding the expensive Afghan engagement because of its costs and substantial fiasco. What is clear is that the International community and the NATO have not been able to win the challenge,  the ‘counterinsurgency’ (COIN) strategy did not work, and the Afghan government will be not able to resist to the AOGs’ offensive (from periphery to the centre) without external support.
For these reasons, the Afghan state – limited in governance, economically dependent and unable to contrast the insurgency – is looking for a political compromise with the AOGs. Realpolitik imposes limits to its ambitions.