Kandahar Survey

This is a pretty useful survey to read through. I have my usual concerns about how it was conducted, who they spoke to, who did the interviews, where people were interviewed, how they managed to get through all these long lists of questions etc etc, but there are some general trends here which reflect things said by people I speak to.

The conclusion presents a bleak picture:

This survey's findings indicate endemic corruption, along with a lack of security and basic services, in Kandahar Province. Collectively, this sets conditions for a disenfranchised population to respond either by not supporting the government due to its inability to deliver improvements in the quality of life or, worse yet, by supporting the Taliban.

We should keep in mind, though, that this survey was carried out between December 23-29, 2009, a period that -- compared to now -- was and felt much safer. The exponential increase of insecurity, particularly in Kandahar City, since then would surely give more pause for thought. Next time they're doing these surveys I'd be interested to see some data collected on whether people are sending family members outside the province in anticipation of the coming summer; I've heard mountains of anecdotal evidence that this is the case, but something concrete would be useful to confirm this.

[h/t to Nathan Hodge at Wired's Danger Room Blog for distributing this survey online]