In complex post-conflict environments such as Afghanistan, security and development needs are intertwined. Without addressing both at the same time, it would be hard to ensure an environment that enables sustainable economic growth. In other words, bullets alone cannot remedy Afghanistan’s current situation. In fact, as former U.S. President Bill Clinton once said, “it’s the economy stupid,” something that is even more relevant in the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan.Continue reading
More than 7 million Afghans waited in long lines for hours, in rainy weather, to vote at over 6,200 polling centers across the country. They did so with a hardened determination to secure a future for Afghanistan where peace, pluralism, and prosperity will be institutionalized over time. They defied months of terrorist assaults that killed scores of innocent civilians, including suicide attacks launched on the offices of the Independent Election Commission in Kabul and targeted a number of Afghan police forces who had been preparing to protect the voters. These indiscriminate attacks, which were staged, and continue to be organized, outside of Afghanistan, aim to derail the country’s democratic state building process and to undo the hard-earned socio-economic gains that continue to empower Afghan girls and women.Continue reading
Eighteen years ago in early May, Mujahedeen resistance fighters entered Kabul, laying claim to Afghanistan’s capital after the collapse of the Communist regime. At the time, the city had not been severely damaged by warfare and Soviet occupation. The 18 years since then have not been kind to Kabul, though.Continue reading
The development of Afghanistan’s agricultural sector has been overlooked by the international community, despite the fact that roughly 80 percent of the Afghan population lives in rural areas and scratches out a meager existence from the land. In trying to rectify the existing situation, the international community would do well to look to Brazil for answers.Continue reading
When citizens of NATO allies look at the record of failure of military interventions in Afghanistan over the past century-and-a-half, they may be tempted to ask: “What chance of success does NATO have?” People should realize, however, that comparing the present-day stabilization mission to past military adventures is not appropriate.Continue reading
It is true that Afghanistan and Pakistan are fighting a common enemy in the Taliban and al Qaeda. But the nature of insurgency and engagement is quite different in the two countries. The Pakistani military is fighting an insurgency mainly against its own people. It’s different in Afghanistan: government forces are fighting both local militants and terrorist mercenaries that primarily infiltrate from, and are trained and equipped by, elements from across the country’s southeastern border.Continue reading
The world annually celebrates Refugee Day in late June, an event that helps raise awareness about the plight, courage, and resilience of the world’s refugees. By contrast, internally displaced persons have no day of their own. It is time for this discrepancy to change.Continue reading
Almost twelve years have passed since the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan, but peace remains elusive. Four interlocking challenges with internal, regional, transnational, and international dimensions impede Afghanistan’s stabilization and reconstruction. Each challenge facing Afghanistan feeds off the others, and together they have engendered a vicious circle that is destabilizing the country.