The insurgency in Afghanistan is gaining strength and new recruits in areas where the Taliban has not previously been prominent, according to a new report from the Afghanistan NGO Safety Office (ANSO) in Kabul.
In the third quarter of this year, it says, armed attacks by insurgents were 59 percent higher than in the same period of 2009.
The gloomy assessment of the security situation says some districts in northern provinces are in danger of slipping beyond control, and it describes efforts to form local militias in opposition to the Taliban as "clumsy."
It recommends that nongovernmental organizations engage with insurgent groups rather than avoid them.
There is evidence that insurgents are ready to accommodate nongovernmental organizations, according to the report.
The ANSO director, Nic Lee, writes that counterinsurgency efforts in Kandahar and Marjah in the south "have failed to degrade [insurgents'] ability to fight, reduce the number of civilian combat fatalities or deliver boxed government." (Continues here)