The Taliban’s Campaign for Kandahar

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Contact: Megan Ortagus
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November 30, 2009

ISW's comprehensive study on Kandahar Province in Afghanistan explains why sending more forces is critical for successful counterinsurgency operations.

Washington, D.C. - The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) has released a third report in the Afghanistan series, The Taliban's Campaign for Kandaharby Carl Forsberg, which calls on U.S. and international forces to restore security to Kandahar City and surrounding populated areas as a first step towards reversing the insurgency's momentum in southern Afghanistan.

Some of the new forces President Obama will deploy to Afghanistan are reportedly heading for Kandahar. "More forces are required in Kandahar. The Taliban has waged a multi-year campaign to seize terrain around Kandahar city in order to establish itself as the ruling authority there and elsewhere in Afghanistan," explain ISW President Kimberly Kagan. "Therefore, destroying the insurgents in Kandahar is a critical and necessary first step for reversing the Taliban’s gains across southern Afghanistan and neutralizing their effects on the entire country."

The 2 page executive summary and 72 page report by ISW provides a detailed and authoritative overview of the history, tribal affiliations, battlefield geography, and military operations in the Kandahar area throughout the eight-year-long war.

Download The Taliban’s Campaign for Kandahar by Carl Forsberg

ISW's Afghanistan Report #3 also finds that ISAF's earlier miscalculations and failure to deploy sufficient troops to critical areas played into the Taliban’s hands and enabled the enemy to make important gains in Kandahar. President Obama's impending decision to send more troops to Afghanistan offers a new opportunity to regain control over this critical province.

Other Afghanistan Reports by ISW include:

The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) is a non-partisan, non-profit, public policy research organization. ISW advances an informed understanding of military affairs through reliable research, trusted analysis, and innovative education. We are committed to improving the nation’s ability to execute military operations and respond to e