CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

Roads of War: Paved Highways and the Rise of IED Attacks in Afghanistan

Evan W. Medina, University of Pennsylvania

Division: Social Sciences

Dept/Program: Political Science

Document Type: Undergraduate Student Research

Mentor(s): Robert Vitalis

Date of this Version: 08 April 2011



Paved roads have been widely heralded by members of the policymaking world as a useful tool in combating the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Afghanistan. With the number of IED attacks growing exponentially since 2006, government officials have made the case for greater funding for road construction by explicitly linking paved roads with improved security conditions. This thesis subjects that connection to greater scrutiny and gives voice to the few detractors who contend that paved roads make security conditions worse. Moreover, this thesis examines new data on IED attacks along roads in Afghanistan and concludes that paving has no meaningful effect on the frequency of IED incidents, suggesting that policymakers should reassess the value of road construction projects and the reasoning used to sell those projects.


Political Science

Suggested Citation

Medina, Evan W., "Roads of War: Paved Highways and the Rise of IED Attacks in Afghanistan" 08 April 2011. CUREJ: College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal, University of Pennsylvania,

Date Posted: 11 May 2011




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