Afghanistan five years on: poll reveals Taleban resurgence
Five years after the fall of Kandahar to Allied Forces, there is clear evidence that
Taleban activity in Afghanistan is increasing.
BBC World Service - in conjunction with ABC News (USA) - has commissioned an extensive
national public opinion poll in Afghanistan, released today.
More than four out of 10 Afghans polled report Taleban violence in their own local area, including
killings, bombings, torching of schools and government buildings and armed conflict with
government or foreign troops.
One in six Afghans asked say people in
their area provide Taleban fighters with food and money.
That jumps to more than a third
in the Northwest, nearly half in the country's Southwest provinces overall, and two-thirds specifically in Helmand and Kandahar.
The fifth anniversary of the overthrow of the Taleban is 7 December 2006.
Seven in 10
Afghans in the poll say they are "grateful" rather than "unhappy" with the presence of British,
US and Canadian soldiers in the country.
Vast majorities continue to call the invasion a good thing for their country and prefer
the current government to its deeply unpopular Taleban predecessor.
Eight in 10 support
the presence of British, US and other international forces on their soil, compared with
five per cent support for Taleban fighters and 11 per cent for jihadi fighters from other
However a quarter say US forces should leave within a year, up from 14 per cent from a
comparative survey conducted last year.
There is concern amongst locals about a host of fresh difficulties: worsening security,
slow redevelopment, widespread perceptions of corruption and reduced faith in the
government's effectiveness in facing these challenges.
Seventy-eight per cent of Afghans call official corruption a problem in the area where they live, according to the poll, and 55
per cent call it a big problem.
While 58 per cent say security is better now than under the Taleban, many more (75
per cent) said so in the survey a year ago.
Fewer than half - now 43 per cent - say the
availability of jobs and economic opportunity have improved compared to the Taleban
Whatever the problems, 74 per cent of Afghans polled say their overall living conditions today
are better now than they were under the Taleban.
There is very broad opposition to non-military attacks - majorities from 94 to 97 per cent
say attacking government officials, police, schools, teachers and other civilians cannot
Eighty-nine per cent say there can be no justification for suicide
The national poll was conducted via face-to-face interviews with 1,036 randomly selected
Afghan adults across the country.
It measures local conditions in this poverty-stricken
country; security concerns and reactions to increasing violence; the strength or
weakness of the government, international forces, the Taleban and local warlords; views
of US efforts; the drug trade and women's rights; and a range of other issues.
The survey follows a prize-winning poll in Afghanistan conducted by ABC News a year ago - the first news-sponsored survey ever done in that country.
BBC World Service Press Office