This briefing by Emily Knowles is based on off-the-record military interviews with both international and local Afghan troops between February and March 2017. At the time of press, NATO had just confirmed that the alliance will increase the number of troops in Afghanistan by several thousand. Our analysis supports the fact that a light-footprint approach to Afghanistan is not working. But crucially, our interviews suggest that it is not necessarily the lack of troops that is doing the most damage to chances of mission success. Instead, the main reason that the conflict in Afghanistan remains locked into a stalemate is the lack of political will to bring maximum pressure to bear on all parties to the conflict to bring them to the negotiation table.
Image credit: Defence Images/Flickr.