Who: Majority of Afghans.
What: Around 92% of men in two crucial southern provinces of Afghanistan are completely unaware of the 11 September attacks on the U.S. and do not recognise it as the reason of foreign invasion and occupation. The report by The International Council on Security and Development (ICOS) policy think-tank surveyed 1,000 Afghan men of which 65% believed that NATO-ISAF kills more civilians than the Taliban.
Where: The survey was conducted in the southern Afghan provinces of Helmand and Kandahar as well as northern provinces of Panjshir and Parwan.
When: The International Council on Security and Development (ICOS) interviewed 1,500 men in southern Afghanistan between June and October, 2010. The report was published on Friday, 19 November.
Why: The ICOS survey was carried out to assess the perception of Afghan men about the current situation in Afghanistan with focus on their attitude towards NATO-ISAF, Taliban, the Afghan government and the international community. Only a third of people interviewed in the Tajik-dominated northern areas support military operations against the Taliban. With civilian deaths by the hands of foreign forces at its highest, around 40% of respondents believe that foreigners are in Afghanistan to destroy the country, to occupy Afghanistan, or to destroy Islam. U.S. forces and their Afghan allies toppled the Islamist Taliban regime in late 2001 for sheltering al-Qaeda leaders who allegedly plotted the 9/11 attacks that killed about 3,000 civilians.
How: The report outlines that Taliban appears to be winning the war of perceptions in many areas of the country despite of their violent guerrilla attacks. As the U.S.-led occupation dragging into its 10th year and violence at its worst, nearly half of all respondents cannot name anything good about democracy. The report also quotes former British ambassador to Afghanistan, Sir Sherard Cowper-Coles as saying: “The Taliban are violent, they are unpleasant. But for many Pashtuns, in my view, they are a less bad alternative, a fairer, more predictable alternative than a corrupt and predatory government.”