What Do Afghans Think?


AFSurvey09header.jpgTomorrow, the New America Foundation is giving back up support for a large conference in the US Senate organized by the RAND Corporation focused on American policy options toward Afghanistan. I think the event is sold out at this point — with more than 500 attendees — but the videos will be posted at a later time here at The Washington Note.
But what do Afghans think about their situation?
The Asia Foundation has just released the results of its 2009 Afghan Public Opinion Poll on the subjects of security, reconstruction, and governance.
The most surprising result that jumped out at me was that 42% of Afghans think the country is moving in the right direction (although 64% thought this in 2004) while 29% thought Afghanistan was going in the wrong direction.
The survey showed that insecurity — attacks, violence, and terrorism — were the country’s biggest challenges.
This is good resource material for those digging into the way Afghans view their circumstances now.
— Steve Clemons


One comment on “What Do Afghans Think?

  1. JohnH says:

    Zbigniew Brzezinski opened this conference with a few “don’ts,” the first being the highly dubious claim that it goes without saying America cannot withdraw from Afghanistan.
    A questioner then asked, “since half the American people do not support the Occupation, why is it ‘obvious’ that America cannot withdraw?”
    Zbig’s answer? Armed with the right arguments presented eloquently, doubting Americans can be convinced otherwise! Now there’s an answer to the question!!! (NOT!) Also, he said that there are political actors who would crucify the President if he tried.
    Thus Zbig refused to make any attempt at providing a strategic rationale for being in Afghanistan, which he obviously cannot do, because otherwise he would have. Instead, he tacitly admitted that good foreign policy decisions are being held hostage to a militant minority, or perhaps just to the energy security complex consisting of energy companies, merchants of death joined at the hip to the Pentagon. Naturally, these folks could care less about America’s downward spiraling economy or its position in the world. They only care only about short term profits and realizing their own personal ambitions.
    Thanks to Zbig for unintentionally revealing the vacuity of strategic thinking behind the Afghanistan farce.


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