Institute for the Study of War Launches Afghanistan Project

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WASHINGTON, D.C.- Recognizing the growing interest in the U.S. mission in Afghanistan, the Institute for the Study of War (ISW) today announced its new Afghanistan Project that will provide quality research and analysis on the war in Afghanistan. The Afghanistan Project can be accessed by visiting ISW website at

"Afghanistan is a critical military operation that we can and must win," said ISW President, Kimberly Kagan."As the Obama Administration increases the amount of U.S. resources to fight the war there, the ISW has launched the new Afghanistan Project to provide objective, expert research and analysis of the operations. The Afghanistan Project will be a useful tool for opinion leaders, policy makers and military officials as they make difficult decisions in the months ahead.

The new Afghanistan Project is a unique collection of open-source information about the country and the challenges faced by U.S. and Coalition forces. Divided into sections such as Maps, Regions, and Themes, the Afghanistan Project provides a one-stop location of information and analysis for researchers and those seeking to learn more about the war in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan Project Highlights

Themes: Enemy Groups

  • The Haqqani Network is a group of fighters based in the area of Paktia, Paktika, and Khost (P2K or Greater Paktia) and North Waziristan Agency in Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas.
  • The Haqqanis collaborate with the Mullah Omar-led Taliban forces, but try to keep their leadership in the east.

Themes: Pakistan and Afghanistan

  • Pakistan and Afghanistan share an immense border stretching 1510 miles (2430 km) along the southern and eastern edges of Afghanistan.
  • Pakistan will not allow coalition forces to cross the border in pursuit of insurgents.
  • In late 2008, the US began launching strikes against Taliban and al-Qaeda targets in Pakistan using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Regions: Regional Command South

  • Regional Command South (RC South) is comprised of six provinces: Nimruz, Helmand, Kandahar, Zabol, Urozgan and Day Kundi. RC South spans roughly 78,000 square miles, making it slightly larger than Nebraska, and shares a 550-mile border with Pakistan.
  • The southern region of Afghanistan is predominantly ethnic Pashtun, but there are small minorities of Hazaras in the northern areasof Day Kundi, and Baluchis on the very southern edges of the region.
  • RC South is the stronghold of the Taliban, led by Mullah Omar and the Quetta Shura, and a center for the opium trade.
  • Insurgent activity in RC South was higher in 2008 than any year since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.

The ISW is a private, nonpartisan, not-for-profit institution whose goal is to educate current and future decision makers and thereby enhance the quality of policy debates. The Institute's work is addressed to government officials and legislators, teachers and students, business executives, professionals, journalists, and all citizens interested in a serious understanding of war and government policy.