1st Jan - 31st Dec 2011 The Afghanistan NGO Safety Office ANSO and our donors accept no liability for the results of any activity conducted or omitted on the basis of this report. -Not for copy or sale- A N S O Q U A R T E R LY D ATA R E P O R T (c) INSO 2011 Q.4 2011 SUMMARY & ASSESSMENT The year was remarkable for being the one in which the US/NATO leadership finally acknowledged the unwinnable nature of its war with the Taliban and started to take concrete measures to disengage (both psychologically and physically) under the narrative of ‘transition’ – the first real change in the structure of the conflict since it began. That this realization came as a result of domestic political and economic pressures – rather than from consideration of the impact of the ongoing war on Afghan civilians – does not lessen its significance in ushering in the new strate- gic reality which will come to define Afghanistan for the coming generations. The basic contours of that reality are already visible and bear a striking resemblance to previous periods of instabil- ity. Kabul and the country to the North and West is dominated by a fragile alliance of former Mujahedeen groups whose claim to represent any constituency broader than their own political and ethnic loyalists is weak. Corruption, poverty and factional violence remain endemic albeit at a less conspicuous level and - although there has been no- table personal diversification - the group remains largely dependent on rapidly waning foreign aid to sustain its lar- gesse and avoid internal conflict. On the other side, another loose alliance of religiously (and occasionally politically) motivated opposition groups make daily gains in the South and East using a combination of terror, faith and guile to capitalize on public resentment with Government and win supporters. Now, as then, this leadership too (barely) struggles to control the horrifying violence it unleashes and is itself instrumentalised by the foreign powers it de- pends on for resources. We all know how this story ended the last time. Although some analysts see an almost inevitable return to the chaos of the early/mid 90’s after 2014, we – perhaps optimistically – believe that things can be different this time. First, we do not foresee the wholesale disintegration of Government (in to factional war) any time soon. Besides offering access to some of the US$ 6-8 billion projected for annual security funding, membership of the internationally recognized government confers a highly valued ‘soft power’ that provides a strong incentive to stay engaged. Secondly, while we acknowledge the inevitable return to power of the IEA in some areas, we see no reason to conclude that they will automatically parlay this in to an effort to retake the whole country, especially once the underlying justification of the ‘struggle against foreign occupation’ has been removed. A key factor here though will be the difference between what the Taliban wants to be, and what it is allowed to be. We expect they are discussing it now, and we will all just have to wait for their answer. That Afghanistan has arrived at this point again is perhaps a fitting obituary to the seemingly ill-fated US/NATO mili- tary mission that - far from being the ‘good’ or ‘necessary’ war - has in the end proven itself to be an aimless war, hopelessly neglected by its leaders until it was too late to change. The sad reality reflected in this report, and all the others we have produced over the years, is that the only coherent strategy the international community ever had in Afghanistan ...was the one to leave. Nic Lee, Kabul, Afghanistan ANSO Director, 2006-2012 The views expressed in this report remain the sole re- sponsibility of the author. AN SO Q U AR TER L Y D A TA R E PO R T Page 2 Part 1. NGO TRENDS AN SO Q U AR TER L Y D A TA R E PO R T Page 3 1 . 1 G e n e r a l N G O I n c i d e n t Tr e n d s ANSO: Total security incidents affecting NGOs per month, all authors, countrywide 2007-2011 28 26 24 24 23 23 22 18 18 18 17 17 17 16 16 16 15 15 14 13 13 13 13 13 12 12 12 12 12 12 12 11 11 11 11 11 11 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 9 8 8 7 7 7 7 6 6 5 5 3 2 OCT OCT OCT OCT OCT JAN APR JAN APR JAN APR JAN APR JAN APR MAR MAR MAR MAR MAR AUG NOV AUG NOV AUG NOV AUG NOV AUG NOV JUN JUN JUN JUN JUN MAY MAY MAY MAY MAY JUL JUL JUL JUL JUL FEB FEB FEB FEB FEB DEC DEC DEC DEC DEC SEP SEP SEP SEP SEP 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 ANSO: NGO incidents 2011, by author ANSO: Total NGO security incidents per year, by author, 2007 - 2011 IMF 9% AOG Criminals IMF 112 102 100 Criminals 30% 90 84 AOG 61% 60 53 46 48 At 163, the total number of NGO inci- 39 dents has grown by 20% over 2010 (136) with 61% attributed to AOG, 15 down from 66% in 2010. However the 7 annual count does not show any nota- 4 1 1 ble deviation from longer term trends 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 (top). The number of incidents caused by all authors grew (above right) although those caused by the IMF grew the most and accounted for 9% of all incidents this year (5% in 2010). The data continues to support to the conclusion that violence against NGOs is seasonal, circumstantial and collateral in nature rather than suggesting any pattern of deliberate or targeted attack. There remain notable localized exceptions, however, where NGOs are in- deed deliberately killed or injured in premeditated assaults. AN SO Q U AR TER L Y D A TA R E PO R T Page 4 1.2 NGO Incident Location ANSO: NGO incidents per province, 2010 vs 2011 The chart compares the gross number of NGO incidents, 2011 2010 caused by all actors (AOG/ URUZGAN 0 1 ACG/IMF), occurring in each SAMANGAN 0 5 province for 2010 and 2011. NURISTAN 1 1 Provinces not listed had no 1 LAGHMAN 1 recorded incident in either BAGHLAN 1 6 year. A number of observa- BAMYAN 0 1 tions can be made: GHAZNI 2 1 Incidents occurred in >80% 2 KUNDUZ 3 of provinces in both years giv- KANDAHAR 3 ing a good indication of the 9 HELMAND 0 3 size of the NGO footprint and TAKHAR 3 suggesting that it has not re- 5 KAPISA 3 cently reduced. 2 FARAH 1 4 Faryab, Balkh and Ghor are SAR-E PUL 2 4 the only provinces to be count- JAWZJAN 1 4 ed in the top five in both years PARWAN 4 with the per capita density of 2 6 NGOs there undoubtedly con- WARDAK 8 tributing to this fact. In Balkh, KHOST 7 2 incidents are mainly classed as HERAT 8 18 ‘collateral’ while in the other PAKTYA 8 two AOG commanders have 1 BADAKHSHAN 4 9 taken a deliberately hostile KABUL 10 stance towards NGOs in an 9 KUNAR 11 effort to establish their legiti- 9 11 macy and dominance. At the BALKH 13 time of writing these stand as LOGAR 11 5 outliers to the norm. FARAYAB 12 17 GHOR 16 Severe escalation of the 11 17 underlying conflict in RC-EAST NANGARHAR 6 is visible in the NGO incident trends for Nangahar - which moved from 9th to 1st place (+183%) due to a rise in collateral damage from AOG/IMF conflict in the east and inter-tribal conflict in the south - as well as in the substantial escalations in Khost (+250%) and Paktya (+700%) where IMF and AOG pursue intense campaigns. At the opposite end of the spectrum, NGO incidents have fallen dramatically in Baghlan (-83%) con- sistent with the drop in AOG attack rate noted after introduction of the Afghan Local Police (ALP) but also following a reduction of road movement in the province after a difficult 2010. AN SO Q U AR TER L Y D A TA R E PO R T Page 5 1.3 NGO incident types ANSO: Types of AOG attack on NGO, 2010 vs 2011 ANSO: Detailed AOG attack types, 2010 vs 2011 2010 2011 18 2011 2010 17 Targeted School Attack (all types) 2 12 5 9 9 9 9 9 7 7 Targeted Clinic Attack (all types) 2 6 5 7 4 4 SAF at person 5 3 SAF at vehicle 3 6 ANSO: Types of criminal attack against NGO, 2010 vs 2011 Accidental Compound Attack (all types) 7 2010 2011 6 Targeted Compound Attack (all types) 8 21 6 Roadside Robbery 0 14 6 12 11 Accidental IED 4 3 4 4 4 3 Targeted IED 2 4 Robbery Threats SAF/RPG Beating ANSO: Types of IMF incidents targeting NGO, 2010 vs The bulk categorization of incidents by type and author (left) 2011 2010 2011 shows minor growth in most AOG attack types, notable growth in criminal armed robberies and a disturbing new 10 trend of aggressive IMF raids on NGO clinics (bottom left). The more nuanced disaggregation of serious AOG attacks (above) shows that NGO compound attacks remain roughly half acci- dental/ half deliberate; that targeted IED strikes are decreas- 4 ing while accidental strikes are increasing; that small arms fire 3 is more common against individuals (target killing) than it is 2 2 against vehicles (at a VCP for example) and that AOG attacks 1 0 0 that specifically target NGO operated schools or clinics have Arrest & Release Clinic Search SAF- Ground Force Mortar/Missile reduced since last year. AN SO Q U AR TER L Y D A TA R E PO R T Page 6 1 . 4 N G O A b d u c t i o n / D e t e n t i o n Tr e n d s Detention of NGO staff grew by a gross 220% this ANSO: NGO staff abducted/detained by AOG, 2008 - 2011 year, however, as 140 of the 2011 count occurred 250 in just five cases of mass detention (all deminers) the adjusted growth rate is closer to 20%. 200 The main purpose of detention remains infor- 150 mation gathering and accordingly most victims were unconditionally released, often in under 100 48hrs. Unusually however, eight persons were killed in captivity this year - in Ghor, Logar, Farah 50 and Faryab - with causes assessed to range from personal enmity to breakdowns in AOG chain of 0 command. We are concerned that such cases will 2008 2009 2010 2011 become more common as foreign fighters swell ANSO: NGO staff abduction/detention per province, Jan-Dec 2011 (#persons/# cases) JAWZJAN BALKH KUNDUZ BADAKSHAN 3/ 23/9 2 SAMANGAN FARYAB BAGHLAN BADGHIS 3/ PARWAN 16 BAMYAN 1 3/ KABUL /4 3/ WARDAK 2 3/ HERAT 8/ 2/ NANGAHAR 2 2/ 1 4 GHOR 2 DAYKUNDI 2 GHAZNI 34/3 KHOST 57/2 26/4 URUZGAN FARAH ZABUL PAKTIKA 40/4 HELMAND NIMROZ KANDAHAR Concentration of cases has shifted from North (in 2010) to mainly East this year with multiple cases of mass detention of deminers by foreign AOG AN SO Q U AR TER L Y D A TA R E PO R T Page 7 1.5 NGO Fatalities & Injuries ANSO: Aid worker deaths by cause, 2010 vs 2011 Nationality of Deceased Nationality of Deceased 2011 2010 Afghan National Foreign Afghan National Foreign 29 31 29 31 In Captivity/Detention 8 0 8 7 8 0 Individual Shooting 0 4 4 2010 2011 Collateral (AOG ground assault) 2010 2011 0 IED Strike 3 16 Ambush/Group Shooting 3 12 Accidental Mine 2 0 IMF Operation 2 4 IMF Escalation of Force 1 0 Collateral (AOG IDF) 1 1 ANSO: Aid workers killed/injured, 2007-2011 The murder of eight detainees was enough Aid worker killed Aid worker injured to make it the leading cause of NGO death this year (above) however the assessed mo- 45 tivation in each case was sufficiently differ- 37 34 31 ent to refrain from calling it a new ‘trend’ at 30 27 this stage. 19 15 Targeted killing of an individual was the se- 6 cond leading cause , and growing, with cases 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 ranging from murder of females for involve- ment in education, personal family disputes ANSO: Total conflict related civilian fatalties (inc. Aid workers) through to murder for political statement. 3000 The data also shows a sharp reduction in IED 2534 2500 2427 related deaths, most likely as a result of less 2082 NGO road travel. Collateral death in AOG or 2000 1812 1528 IMF attack remains a concern. 1500 There were no deaths of foreign aid workers 1000 in 2011 (above right) and a nominal increase 500 in Afghan national fatalities. Overall death 0 rate has dropped slightly (mid-left) con- 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 sistent with total civilian fatality trends (left). AN SO Q U AR TER L Y D A TA R E PO R T Page 8 Part 2. State of the Conflict AN SO Q U AR TER L Y D A TA R E PO R T Page 9 2 . 1 AO G I n i t ia t e d At t a c k s ANSO: AOG initiated attacks per month, against all target groups, 2007-2011 (Count includes AOG kinetic operations only such as small arms, RPG, IED, indirect fire and suicide attack) 1714 1800 ANSO: Total AOG attacks per year, 2007-2011 ANSO: Total AOG attacks per year, 2007-2011 16000 1541 1600 16000 13983 14000 13983 12252 14000 12000 12252 1400 12000 10000 10000 7445 8000 7445 1200 8000 6000 5239 1093 6000 5239 4000 3448 4000 3448 1000 2000 2000 0 0 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 800 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 634 Year 768 Year 600 405 523 400 381 200 0 MAY MAY MAY MAY MAY APR APR APR JAN FEB JAN FEB JAN JAN APR JAN APR FEB FEB FEB OCT OCT OCT OCT OCT SEP DEC SEP DEC DEC DEC DEC SEP SEP SEP NOV NOV AUG AUG MAR AUG NOV MAR AUG MAR MAR AUG MAR NOV NOV JUN JUN JUN JUN JUN JUL JUL JUL JUL JUL 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 AOG initiated attacks grew by 14% over last year and ANSO: Growth in AOG attacks over previous year demonstrated an enhanced operational tempo - with 70% 65% 64% of all operations occurring before the end of July 60% 52% (compared to 52% in 2010) - and then trailing off sharp- 50% 42% ly once OP BADR ended over Ramadan. 40% 30% The tactical portfolio remained consistent with 2010, 20% 14% with close range engagements (SAF/RPG) making up 10% the bulk of operations (55%) and IED/IDF operations at 0% 44%. Suicide attacks remained at just 1% of the total 2008 2009 2010 2011 yet caused close to 70% more fatalities this year, includ- Year ing roughly 400 Afghan civilians (230 in 2010). Throughout the year ISAF made a number of statements claiming a 3% reduction in attacks between Jan- Aug when compared with 2010. We are not in a position to evaluate their data but, obviously, we do not agree with their finding and advise NGOs to simply ignore it as practical security advice - a use for which it was likely never intended in any case. We find their suggestion that the insurgency is waning to be a dan- gerous political fiction that should be given no consideration in NGO risk assessment for the coming year. Interestingly, our data does find that this years 14% growth rate (what you might call the IEA profit mar- gin) is substantially lower than previous years (above right) suggesting that there has indeed been some serious reduction in the effort that the that the IEA is putting in. Whether this reduction has been forced upon them by ISAF or whether they consciously chose it - on the calculus that there is no point sprinting to the finish if everyone else has dropped out of the race - is unknown to us and, we suspect, to ISAF. AN SO Q U AR TER L Y D A TA R E PO R T Page 10 2.2 Attack Ra te Mapping ANSO: AOG attack volumes, per province at Q.4 2011 (Please note this is an incident rate map that enables comparison of areas seeing similar attack rates. It is not a threat map and a lack of incidents can indicate AOG dominance (see Nuristan). Areas shared green are not implied to be safe, particularly those provinces bordered by highly insecure areas . BADAKSHAN 57 JAWZJAN 111 KUNDUZ BALKH 144 205 TAKHAR 34 RC- SAMANGAN FARYAB 323 SAR-E-PUL 111 North12 BAGHLAN 81 BADGHIS 407 PARWAN KAPISA 109 121 BAMYAN LAGHMAN 10 KABUL 115 220 WARDAK 388 NANGAHAR RC-Capital RC- HERAT 317 551 GHOR 107 DAYKUNDI 18 West RC- GHAZNI 1679 KHOST 1106 URUZGAN 404 East Extreme FARAH 209 RC- ZABUL 479 PAKTIKA 1193 NIMROZ 104 HELMAND 2416 South High KANDAHAR 1285 RC-South Moderate West Low Negligible The map shows the final AOG initiated attack count, per province, for the whole year overlaid with ISAF Regional Command divisions. As noted in previous reports, the establishment of a ’second front’ in Loya Paktya/Ghazni (circled) has clearly been one of the main results of AOG Operation Badr this year. Be- sides targeting IMF/ANSF, AOG have conducted an extensive campaign to undermine the capacity of lo- cal government with more than 600 attacks on District Administration Centers and approximately 40 ci- vilian government workers - including district governors - killed in targeted assassinations. The campaign has impacted NGOs in terms of increased collateral damage and the dramatic increase in detention/ abduction noted on p.6. In comparison to the other epicenter of the conflict (Helmand/Kandahar) fighting in these areas (as it is in Kunar/Nuristan) is increasingly characterized by a high volume of cross border combatants. The question of whether these fighters are really under the effective command & control of the IEA leadership will become increasingly critical as the latter moves to formulate a political settlement. In a worst case scenario, the current over reliance on foreign support could backfire and turn the area in to something of a no mans land - defying effective control by either IEA or GIROA - and providing a tactical safe haven to beleaguered combatants from either side of the border. AN SO Q U AR TER L Y D A TA R E PO R T Page 11 2.3 Comparati ve Attack Ra tes Per Pro vi nce PROVINCE Total AOG OPS 2010 Total AOG OPS 2011 Actual Change % Change BAMYAN 4 10 6 150% HELMAND 1408 2416 1008 72% Above Average BADAKHSHAN 35 57 22 63% JAWZJAN 75 111 36 48% ZABUL 353 479 126 36% SAR-E PUL 82 111 29 35% PAKTIKA 898 1193 295 33% PARWAN 84 109 25 30% GHOR 84 107 23 27% PAKTYA 490 608 118 24% HERAT 258 317 59 23% KHOST 910 1106 196 22% BADGHIS 358 407 49 14% FARAH 257 290 33 13% LAGHMAN 196 220 24 12% Average URUZGAN 363 404 41 11% NURISTAN 64 71 7 11% KANDAHAR 1167 1285 118 10% FARYAB 296 323 27 9% NANGARHAR 505 551 46 9% GHAZNI 1544 1679 135 9% NIMROZ 109 104 -5 -5% KAPISA 129 121 -8 -6% KUNAR 1468 1280 -188 -13% LOGAR 265 226 -39 -15% Reduction BALKH 183 144 -39 -21% DAYKUNDI 23 18 -5 -22% KABUL 151 115 -36 -24% WARDAK 512 383 -129 -25% KUNDUZ 355 205 -150 -42% SAMANGAN 21 12 -9 -43% BAGHLAN 222 81 -141 -64% TAKHAR 144 34 -110 -76% Table shows the total AOG attack operations per provinces for 2010 and 2011. The ‘average ‘referred to is the countrywide growth rate of 14%. That Baghlan and Takhar occupy the bottom two slots, with sub- stantial reductions over last year, is credited to the impact of the ALP although it is unclear whether this also accounts for the 37% increase in armed crime (far above the 29% national average) in those two provinces. Of nine Tranche II transition provinces, five (Daykondi, Nimroz, Takhar, Balkh, Samangan) saw less attacks than last year with the others all falling in to the ‘above average’ growth category. At the higher end, the attack rate in Helmand grew substantially as did in Paktika, Paktya and Khost (p.9). AN SO Q U AR TER L Y D A TA R E PO R T Page 12 Acronyms: IEA - Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (Taliban) AOG- Armed Opposition Groups (specifically Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (Taliban); Haqqani Network and Hezb-i-Islami Hekmatyar (HiH) IMF - International Military Forces (specifically ISAF, USFOR-A, PRTs and SOF) ANSF - Afghan National Security Forces (mostly Police & Army) IED - Improvised Explosive Device (home made bomb) IDF—Indirect Fire (rockets, mortars) CAS - Close Air Support (airstrike) EOF - Escalation of Force (shooting a vehicle at a check post that fails to stop) SAF - Small Arms Fire (from a machine gun such as AK47) REPORT ENDS F o r fu r t her i nf o r m a tio n d i r ec t or. afg @ n g os a fe t y. o r g This document will be electronically archived at www.ngosafety.org three days after distribution. 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