Punditry Aside, How do Afghans Feel about Afghanistan?
November 14, 2012
For the most part, Afghanistan is portrayed today as violent and war-torn and with an ineffective and corrupt government. The consensus seems to be that there is little hope that the country will hold together or defend itself against the Taliban and other terrorists after U.S. and NATO combat troops leave two years hence. The conclusion is that much blood and treasure has been wasted since the Taliban were ousted in 2001.
But there is another view of this story. The majority of Afghans see their future quite differently.
The Asia Foundation has just completed its eighth survey of public opinion in Afghanistan since 2004. These surveys have established a valid, long-term barometer of the Afghan people’s views over time. Last June nearly 6,300 Afghans were interviewed across all 34 provinces on a wide variety of issues. Respondents were divided between men (56%) and women (44%), and included both urban (22%) and rural (78%) households. The fact that 16 percent of polling sites were not accessible for security reasons – potentially creating a bias – is taken into account and does not overturn the major findings. The survey’s sampling error is +/- 5 percent.
What is most striking in this latest survey is that 52 percent of the respondents – up from 46 percent in 2011 – believe that Afghanistan is moving in the right direction. 93 percent have a positive view of the Afghan armed forces (although many have doubts about the ability of the Afghan army and police to operate today without the support of foreign troops). Eighty-nine percent give their government good marks for the provision of educational services. Seventy-two percent say their national legislature is addressing the problems of ordinary citizens.
Read the full piece, originally published by Foreign Policy’s AFPAK Channel on November 14.
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. The views and opinions expressed here are those of the individual authors and not those of The Asia Foundation.
About our blog, In AsiaIn Asia is a weekly in-depth, in-country resource for readers who want to stay abreast of significant events and issues shaping Asia\’s development, hosted by The Asia Foundation. Drawing on the first-hand insight of over 70 renowned experts in over 20 countries, In Asia delivers concentrated analysis on issues affecting each region of Asia, as well as Foundation-produced reports and polls.
In Asia is posted and distributed every Wednesday evening, Pacific Time and is accessible via email and RSS. If you have any questions, please send an email to [email protected].
ContactFor questions about In Asia, or for our cross-post and re-use policy, please send an email to [email protected].
The Asia Foundation
465 California St., 9th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94104
PO Box 193223
San Francisco, CA 94119-3223
HIGHLIGHTS ACROSS ASIA
Cambodia’s Online Reform Initiative Inventory
Addressing Industrial Pollution Along the Kelani River
April 26, 2017
Asia Foundation Releases Report on Disaster Preparedness During Political Transition in Nepal
April 24, 2017
Asia Foundation’s Young Lotus Circle Gathers in New York for Women’s Empowerment
April 24, 2017