Strategic Assessment – speaking truth to power, with graphs

Wapentakes provides innovative analytical support to the NATO Strategic Assessment Capability, a unique programme instigated when senior commanders discovered that ISAF situation reports were unworkably optimistic. SAC has greatly enhanced the assessment of the ISAF and Resolute Support missions. It uses objective data to stimulate and frame the assessments of a group of experts on governance, economics, narcotics, insurgency, aid and Afghanistan’s regional neighbours. This eclectic approach is independent from the chain of command and has consistently predicted profound developments six months or a year before other sources.

Wapentakes provides much of the objective data for this assessment, including:

  • Corruption – the first analysis to quantify the rise in customs revenue corruption
  • Economics – the first analysis to identify the full extent of the Afghan economic dependence on aid and military spending
  • Narcotics – quantifying the failure of poppy eradication programmes

Previous work includes:

Resolute Support Strategic Assessment Capability, Autumn 2016. Limited circulation report available on request.

The real reasons for Afghan migration – a RUSI Newsbrief article showing how overpopulation and ambivalent UN asylum policies underpin Afghan migration.

Banner Pictures

1. Afghan migration 2015. Wapentakes tracking of the Afghan migrant crisis since 2011 found than overpopulation underpinned both conflict and migration. Afghanistan is an agricultural economy that currently imports around 1/3rd of its food needs and its natural population growth adds around 600,000 people a year. In 2016 more than 1m Afghans were forcibly repatriated from Pakistan, Iran and Europe.

2. Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe, 1967 (NATO stock image). Wapentakes quantitative analysis has supported assessments for SHAPE –admittedly a good while while after this picture was taken– identifying key features of Afghan sustainability and regional security.

3. Drone strikes into Pakistan and terrorist bombings in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. Unexpected interactions were found between these incidents.