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Afghanistan on the Edge of a Political Abyss

By Amin Saikal


Ten years into the war on terror, the Karzai government and its international backers, namely the United States and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), continue to face bleak prospects in Afghanistan. The country suffers from political uncertainty and instability, with a resurgent Taliban movement in control of vast swaths of territory. This article argues that five key factors have interacted inauspiciously to contribute to this situation—the mosaic nature of the Afghan society, an inappropriate political system which has subsequently led to poor governance, the flawed US and NATO political and military strat-egies, the prominence of Afghanistan’s narcotics trade and a number of counter-systemic actors, chief among them being the Taliban. A change of US policy by placing a greater emphasis on reform, reconstruction and containment is needed if Afghanistan is to have a chance of getting out of its current deteriorating cycle of violence and bloodshed

Topics: Taliban, state-building, reconstruction, Hamid Karzai, insurgency, reconciliation, corruption, governance, democratization
Year: 2016
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