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This study examines particular aspects of the overall Afghanistan mission. It represents a 'snapshot analysis' of the planning, establishment and first months of activities of UNAMA through November 2002. It aims to highlight a number of useful pointers from UNAMA that could be replicated in other peace support operations. The primary goal has been to identify problems in the design, management and conduct of UN operations and offer constructive recommendations to UN officials and member states on how to address these problems. These may be useful not only for the ongoing activities of the mission but also for comparative analysis, as well as for future missions. Given the short time frame analysed, the report can only make preliminary observations, and thus conclusions reflect the in-progress nature of the operation.