‘Struggling’ Civilian Surge Could Upset Afghan Plans

Surge Could Take a Decade, Imperil 'Timetable'

According to the US State Department, the “civilian surge,” a parallel escalation of non-military aid and personnel into Afghanistan, is struggling mightily to meet any of its goals.

The US has been pumping government agricultural experts, lawyers, engineers and others into the nation in an attempt to shore up the war-torn nation’s infrastructure. The State Department’s report says this effort will likely not succeed in time to have any impact on the ongoing war.

In fact, the report suggested that the surge effort could last a decade before achieving any meaningful results. Officials have insisted the timetable for the civilian effort is not the same as the military effort, but the two have been clearly linked to one another.

And the failures in the civilian build-up could seriously harm the war effort in the near term. Officials had been hoping would make significant improvement in the next 12-18 months, primarily as a result of the emphasis on civilian infrastructure. Failing that, the short term strategy appears to be in ruins, and hopes for a pullout will likely be seriously damaged.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.