Weekly Insights and Analysis

International Herald Tribune: The Afghan View

November 18, 2010

By Karl F. Inderfurth, Ted Eliot

One is constantly reminded of the grim realities of Afghanistan today, a country entering its 10th year of war with a bloody and brutal insurgency and a government in Kabul commonly viewed as corrupt and ineffective.

But there is another perception of what is taking place in Afghanistan that should be taken into account — what the Afghans themselves think of their current situation. A recent poll reveals that many Afghans actually believe things are getting better — slowly, to be sure, but improving despite the odds.

The survey was directed by the Asia Foundation in Kabul. It was the sixth public opinion poll conducted by the foundation since 2004, providing a snapshot of public opinion in Afghanistan over time.

The 634 trained Afghan pollsters interviewed 6,500 Afghans, almost equally divided between men and women and including all ethnic groups, across the country’s 34 provinces. When instability or the presence of fighting placed areas off limits, sampling replacements were made in the same region. The polling was done two months before the September parliamentary elections.

Read the full piece originally published in International Herald Tribune on November 18.

Asia Foundation trustee Karl Inderfurth is the former Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs and trustee Ted Eliot is a former Ambassador to Afghanistan.

Related locations: Afghanistan


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