The Spread of Terror: A Geospatial Analysis of Civilian Attacks in Afghanistan, 2001 to 2015
Blackmar, John M.
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CitationBlackmar, John M. 2018. The Spread of Terror: A Geospatial Analysis of Civilian Attacks in Afghanistan, 2001 to 2015. Master's thesis, Harvard Extension School.
AbstractAfghanistan has suffered a tragically violent history. Since 1839, the territory has borne the scars of more than 80 armed conflicts, marking it one of the most volatile places on the planet. In the past thirty years of great power involvement, millions have been killed and displaced, often as a result of non state violence. However, not all provinces of Afghanistan have been affected equally by this nearly constant strife, especially during the NATO-led invasion and occupation, which began in 2001.
This project analyzes data from the Global Terrorism Database describing the volatile state of modern Afghanistan to identify patterns of violence. Through exploratory spatial analysis analyzing distinct provincial characteristics and demographics, this study reveals several significant factors in creating a model of civilian attacks. Examining a variety of traditional and non-traditionally advocated development goals such as literacy, children’s health, income equality, employment, and distance from foreign powers, this project finds a province’s likelihood of suffering an attack is a factor of its population, the percentage of land dedicated to illicit drug production, and the portion of the public occupying the lowest quintile of wealth.
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