The Obama administration's draft metrics for Afghanistan and Pakistan, as obtained by Foreign Policy.
- By Blake Hounshell
Blake Hounshell is managing editor at Foreign Policy, having formerly been Web editor. Hounshell oversees ForeignPolicy.com and has commissioned and edited numerous cover stories for the print magazine, including National Magazine Award finalist "Why Do They Hate Us?" by Mona Eltahawy. He also edits The Cable, FP's first foray into daily original reporting, and was editor of Colum Lynch's Turtle Bay, which in 2011 won a National Magazine award for best reporting in a digital format.
Blake joined Foreign Policy in 2006 after living in Cairo, where he studied Arabic, missed his Steelers finally win one for the thumb, and worked for the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies. Blake was a 2011 finalist for the Livingston Awards prize for young journalists for his reporting on the Arab uprisings, and his Twitter feed was named one of Time magazine's "140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2011." Under his leadership, in 2008, Passport, FP's flagship blog, won Media Industry Newsletter's "Best of the Web" award in the blog category. Along with Elizabeth Dickinson, he edited Southern Tiger: Chile's Fight for a Democratic and Prosperous Future, the memoirs of former Chilean president Ricardo Lagos, published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2012.
A graduate of Yale University, Blake speaks mangled Arabic and French, is an avid runner, and lives in Washington with his wife, musician Sandy Choi, and their toddler, David. Follow him on Twitter @blakehounshell.
The goal of the United States is to disrupt, dismantle, and defeat al-Qa’ida in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and to prevent their return to either country in the future.
Background: During his March 27, 2009 speech announcing our new strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, President Obama said "going forward, we will not blindly stay the course. Instead, we will set clear metrics to measure progress and hold ourselves accountable." This paper outlines a process to fulfill that directive. The intent is to use this assessment process to highlight both positive and negative trends and issues that may call for policy adjustments over time.
Agreed Metrics: The supporting objectives of the Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy form the framework for evaluating progress. The indicators within each of the objectives represent a mix of quantitative and qualitative measures, intended to capture objective and subjective assessments.
Common Baseline: The ODNI provided a baseline assessment of the metrics on July 17, 2009 from which progress will be measured; this is our common start point.
Process: By March 30, 2010 and on regular intervals thereafter, the interagency will draft an assessment of progress in Afghanistan and Pakistan. As a check and balance on the interagency, a separate assessment will also be produced by a Red Team, led by the National Intelligence Council.
Objective 1. Disrupt terrorist networks in Afghanistan and especially Pakistan to degrade any ability they have to plan and launch international terrorist attacks.
Metrics: Please see the attached classified annex.
Objective 2a. Assist efforts to enhance civilian control and stable constitutional government in Pakistan.
- Progress towards Pakistan’s civilian government and judicial system becoming stable and free of military involvement
- Pakistan’s actions to take necessary steps to ensure economic and financial stability, job creation, and growth
- Support for human rights
- Development of an enduring, strategic partnership between the U.S. and Pakistan
- Pakistani public opinion of government performance
- Demonstrable action by government against corruption, resulting in incrwased trust and confidence of the Pakistani public
Objective 2b. Develop Pakistan’s counterinsurgency (COIN) capabilities; continue to support Pakistan’s efforts to defeat terrorist and insurgent groups.
- Effectiveness of Pakistani civilian, intelligence and military in conducting counterinsurgency operations across the clear-hold-build phases to defeat insurgent groups
- Level of militant-initiated violence
- Extent of militant-controlled areas in Pakistan
- Effectiveness of Pakistani border security efforts
Objective 2c. Involve the international community more actively to forge an international consensus to stabilize Pakistan.
- Effectiveness of security, governance, and development assistance
- Support from allies, international organizations, and other key players, including China, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and UAE
- Coordination of international efforts by the U.N.
- Status of relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan
- Pakistani policies and resources committed to maintaining international support
Objective 3a. Defeat the extremist insurgency, secure the Afghan populace, and develop increasingly self-reliant Afghan security forces that can lead the counterinsurgency and counterterrorism fight with reduced U.S. assistance.
- Degree to which security operations are integrated into the overall COIN campaign
- Level of insurgent-related violence
- Public perceptions of security
- Percent of population living in districts/areas under insurgent control
- Percent of population living in districts/areas undergoing clearing operations
- Percent of populations living in districts/areas "held" by coalition and/or ANSF and where "build" activities are ongoing
- Percent of key lines of communication under government control
- Effectiveness of Afghan border security efforts
- Level of trust and confidence by the Afghan people in the ANSF’s (Army and Police) ability to provide sustained security
- Capability, to include size, of the ANA and ANP
- Effectiveness of ANSF-ISAF partnered counterinsurgency operations
- Ability of the ANSF to assume lead security responsibility
- Level of corruption within the ANSF
- Ability of the ANSF to handle their own logistics needs
Objective 3b. Promote a more capable, accountable, and effective government in Afghanistan that serves the Afghan people and can eventually function, especially regarding internal security, with limited international support.
- Afghan Government’s institutions at the national, provincial, and local level, including ability to hold credible elections in 2009 and 2010
- Effectiveness of the Afghan Government in collecting revenues (both in absolute terms and as a percentage of budget requirements) and executing its budget at the national, provincial, and local levels
- Public perception of Afghanistan’s justice sector and commitment to providing the rule of law at the national, provincial, and local levels
- Demonstrable action by the government against corruption, resulting in increased trust and confidence of the Afghan public
- Support for human rights
- Public perception at the district level of the Afghan Government’s effectiveness and sustained ability to provide services
- Afghanistan’s economic stability and development with emphasis on agriculture
- Volume and value of narcotics
- Successful interdiction and prosecution of high-profile narco-traffickers
- Afghan Government’s efforts to develop and execute reconciliation programs at the national, provincial, and local levels with U.S. and international support
Objective 3c. Involve the international community more actively to forge an international consensus to stabilize Afghanistan.
- Support from allies, international organizations, and other key regional countries in providing resources to Afghanistan
- Prospects for the Afghan Government and international community to fund the development, operations, and sustainment of the ANSF
- Effectiveness of international security, governance, and development assistance
- Establishment of accounting and management controls for UN coordination of international efforts
- Ability of NGOs to operate independently and freely
- Status of relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan
- Status of relations between Afghanistan and its other neighbors
Josh Rogin covers national security and foreign policy and writes the daily Web column The Cable. His column appears bi-weekly in the print edition of The Washington Post. He can be reached for comments or tips at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Previously, Josh covered defense and foreign policy as a staff writer for Congressional Quarterly, writing extensively on Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantánamo Bay, U.S.-Asia relations, defense budgeting and appropriations, and the defense lobbying and contracting industries. Prior to that, he covered military modernization, cyber warfare, space, and missile defense for Federal Computer Week Magazine. He has also served as Pentagon Staff Reporter for the Asahi Shimbun, Japan's leading daily newspaper, in its Washington, D.C., bureau, where he reported on U.S.-Japan relations, Chinese military modernization, the North Korean nuclear crisis, and more.
A graduate of George Washington University's Elliott School of International Affairs, Josh lived in Yokohama, Japan, and studied at Tokyo's Sophia University. He speaks conversational Japanese and has reported from the region. He has also worked at the House International Relations Committee, the Embassy of Japan, and the Brookings Institution.
Josh's reporting has been featured on CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, CBS, ABC, NPR, WTOP, and several other outlets. He was a 2008-2009 National Press Foundation's Paul Miller Washington Reporting Fellow, 2009 military reporting fellow with the Knight Center for Specialized Journalism and the 2011 recipient of the InterAction Award for Excellence in International Reporting. He hails from Philadelphia and lives in Washington, D.C.| The Cable |