This summary comes from Sami the Finn a.k.a Sami Kovanen, the Senior Information Analyst at Indicium Consulting. Sami has been in Afghanistan for over six years now and is one of the best informed analyst working outside of the ISAF security bubble. He was kind enough to let me post this update and for those of you who are interested in additional analysis of this type you can reach Sami via the Indcium Consulting website at www.indiciumconsulting.net
On this week numbers of countrywide incidents decreased slightly in every category in comparison to previous reporting period, but in spite of the decrease on this week, the overall trend after the elections is still showing upwards, which is not a promising sign for this winter and expected lull in fighting what usually has started this time of the year. Even if the trend would turn in near future, still the difference between this and last year is drastic and actually been increasing from earlier months of this year (from last year TB / AGE incidents were approx 40% up during the first three months of this year, during the summer incidents were approx 80% higher than on last year and since the election TB / AGE (Taliban / Anti-Government Elements) incidents have been up approx 120%).
If the same trend will continue throughout the winter we will have total of approx 17500 – 18000 TB / AGE initiated incidents on this year, which would be approx 80% higher than last year. And if the current trend would continue throughout the next year we could be witnessing approx 34000 – 36000 TB / AGE initiated incidents during the next year. Although this is unlikely scenario and more likely the increase of attacks will not continue with the current pace, the outlook of next year is grim. This is a concern especially when considering the current situation and overstretched IMF / ANSF (International Military Forces / Afghanistan Security Forces) troops and their capacity. Even if the more conservative estimation of the next year’s attack rate is somewhere at around 30000 incidents, it still will pose a serious challenges for IMF / ANSF troops to manage the overall situation, especially if the TB / AGE elements are able to continue their infiltration into earlier calm areas like what is happening at the moment.
Kinetic operations by International Military and Afghan security forces have continued with high tempo. Militarily these operations have continued been success with significant amount of TB / AGE leaders, facilitators and fighters been killed, but the affect on the field is still unseen in many ways and TB / AGE elements have continued showing extreme capabilities to cope in spite of the significant loses. However, there are some indicators about the lower morale among fighters and especially disruptions of the supply chains, which might have an effect to ground level situation and bring some results in the future.
Total numbers of incidents on this week were 522 incidents (550 on last week); from which 393 were relatively serious incidents (420 on last week) and 482 incidents were related to TB / AGE elements (518 on last week). During the last three weeks there have been total of 1172 TB / AGE incidents in Afghanistan, which is significantly higher than 448 attacks on same weeks last year (162% increase from last year).
At Regional level TB / AGE incidents increased significantly in North-eastern Region (after last week’s similar drop) and slightly in Northern and Southern Region. In South-eastern, Eastern, Central Regions incidents decreased noteworthy, although still within the normal weekly fluctuation.
Breakdown of TB / AGE incidents by Regions:
- South-eastern Region (140 incidents – 36% of countrywide incidents)
- Southern Region (125 incidents – 32%)
- Eastern Region (36 incidents – 9%)
- Central Region (34 incidents – 9%)
- Western Region (21 incidents – 5%)
- North-eastern Region (21 incidents – 5%)
- Northern Region (16 incidents – 4%)
- Central Highlands (0 incidents)
Main types of attacks have remained consistent with earlier weeks; IEDs (163 previous week 164) have remained the numbers one tactic, followed by CPX (complex) attacks (82 previous week 81), SAF (Small Arms Fire) attacks (76 previous week 101) and rocket / mortar attacks (43 previous week 42). Suicide attacks have continued with average of 2.5 attacks per weekly, which is slightly lower than last year’s weekly average of 3 attacks per week. However, due to increasing usage of suicide bombers in complex attacks, the amount of used suicide bombers have continued increasing in Afghanistan.
Harassment / intimidation and direct attacks against civilian population (IEDs, rockets, SAF, assassinations, abductions, etc), or incident in which civilians are affected indirectly have continued at high level. On this week there were at least 98 incidents / attacks initiated by TB / AGE elements in which civilians were targeted directly or affected indirectly. Once again majority of these incidents occurred in Southern and South-eastern Regions.