Predicting Taliban attacks: Q&A with Yale political scientist Jason Lyall

Winning the “hearts and minds” of Afghan civilians is a key component of American strategy in Afghanistan, where war rages more than 16 years after NATO-backed forces knocked the Taliban from power.

A recent study co-authored by Yale political scientist Jason Lyall provides evidence that “hearts-and-minds” aid programs have an unintended consequence: Taliban insurgents target villages where aid projects have gained traction.

Lyall, associate professor of political science, and his coauthors, Kentaro Hirose, assistant professor at Waseda University, and Kosuke Imai, professor of politics at Princeton University, published their findings in the Journal of Peace Research.