In October 2010 the International Council on Security and Development (ICOS) interviewed 1500 Afghan men in southern and northern Afghanistan. In Helmand and Kandahar, 1000 men were interviewed. In Panjshir and Parwan, 500 men were interviewed.
The two clusters of provinces chosen by ICOS reflect very different ethnic and political situations. Panjshir and Parwan are dominated by ethnic Tajiks, and were the stronghold of the anti-Taliban fighter Ahmad Shah Massoud during the civil war of the 1990s. They are now usually regarded as amongst the more peaceful areas of Afghanistan. Helmand and Kandahar, which are heavily Pashtun, were the homeland of the Taliban movement, and today are at the centre of the insurgency in Afghanistan.
Kandahar and Helmand, along with Kunar province in the north-east, see 60% of the insurgent attacks across Afghanistan, according to NATO-ISAF. Therefore the ICOS research in these southern provinces provides a unique insight into the most relevant cohort of the Afghan population, in the most relevant areas of the country.
The questions assessed a range of subjects including interviewees’ perceptions of NATO-ISAF and the wider international community, their attitudes towards the Taliban, and their opinions on international development efforts in their community. This ICOS field research offers a unique insight on the attitudes of the Afghan people on these issues.
This report was released at the US Pentagon’s Pakistan Afghanistan Coordination Cell on the 19th November 2010.