ICOS works in conflict and post-conflict zones using Cultural Analysis research to examine the perceptions of local people with regards to their own situation or their attitudes towards the political/security landscape in their country. The unique insight provided by this work is used to gain a true understanding of the reality on the ground and to develop realistic and sustainable policy recommendations.
ICOS has been conducting Cultural Analysis research in Afghanistan since 2005, resulting in the publication of over 35 reports on the situation in the country. Much of the research has focused on military-aged males to determine their susceptibility to supporting or joining insurgent groups and provide a longitudinal assessment to evaluate the effects of international military operations. ICOS has also conducted field research on local perceptions of the war in Iraq, and research to assess the impact of the war on terror in fuelling support for insurgent groups in Somalia.
A lost mandate: The Public Calls for a New Direction in Afghan Counter-Narcotics Policies (September 2007)
During the period 14-30 August 2007, a nationally representative random sample of 1,000 adults in each of the four NATO-partner countries with troops fighting in southern Afghanistan were asked to respond to six questions relating to counter-narcotics policies currently pursued in Afghanistan. They were also asked their thoughts on the Poppy for Medicine proposal.
A quantitative telephone interview was conducted in the United Kingdom, the… More
4 September 2007
Seven out of ten Americans support Poppy for Medicine pilot project in Afghanistan
Absence of grassroots support for the US led counter-narcotics policies
Seven out of ten Americans oppose promised US chemical spraying in Afghanistan
ICOS on Tuesday urged US President George W Bush to initiate Poppy for Medicine pilot projects in Afghanistan after a nationwide survey revealed that 7 in 10 in the US support a… More
This report is the result of research conducted by ICOS in response to the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). As a reaction to our reports demonstrating that the work of CIDA was not visible in Kandahar, we were invited to verify their work for ourselves. The suffering of the Afghan people in Kandahar not only neglects our humanitarian obligations to our allies in Kandahar, it creates a… More
The legitimate grievances of the Afghan people are successfully maximised by the Taliban in their propaganda campaign. Critically, this could allow the Taliban to progressively become a legitimate political movement in the southern part of the country. The United Kingdom and the international community risk losing what has been achieved so far in Afghanistan.
Decades of internal fighting and foreign intervention have disrupted the rule of law… More
Prime Minister Harper must undertake a major overhaul of Canada’s strategy in Afghanistan. The extreme poverty of southern Afghanistan, the growing disenchantment of the local population with the international presence, call for a dramatic overhaul of Canada’s development, aid and counter-narcotics polices there. Kandahar has seen a sharp rise in support for the insurgency in recent months. The province’s refugee camps are full of starving people, and… More
The Taliban are winning the battle for the hearts and minds in southern Afghanistan, and the international community is losing. As a result, NATO-ISAF troops are forced to fight in an increasingly hostile environment. What kind of realistic hearts and minds strategy can support the troops on the ground and make their mission… More