Revisiting the “Problem from Hell": Suicide Terror in Afghanistan
Studies in Conflict & Terrorism
A hallmark of the resurgence of antigovernment forces in Afghanistan was the mass introduction of suicide terrorist attacks. Between 2005 and 2006, the incidence of suicide bombings increased more than fivefold, marking a sea change in the Afghan conflict. Despite the initial jump in the volume of suicide attacks and the fear of more violence, the number of attacks actually flat-lined while the level of other attacks increased. This study will argue that it is the competency of the attackers employed in Afghanistan, not the politics, technology, or targeting, that best explains the static level of suicide attacks.