By James Shinn

ISBN-10: 0833058266

ISBN-13: 9780833058263

The goal of a negotiated peace in Afghanistan has been firmly embraced via many of the strength events to a treaty. besides the fact that, arriving at an contract in regards to the sequencing, timing, and prioritization of peace phrases might be tricky, given the divergence within the events' pursuits and goals. The U.S. aim

in those negotiations can be a sturdy and peaceable Afghanistan that neither hosts nor collaborates with terrorists.

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Extra info for Afghan Peace Talks: A Primer

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Agreement between the main Afghan parties is a necessary but insufficient prerequisite for peace. Unlike Iraq and Yugoslavia, strong states divided by even stronger ethnic antipathies, Afghanistan is a weak polity that has been torn apart by its near and more-distant neighbors, not unlike the hapless sheep which is pulled apart by mounted riders in buzkashi, the Central Asian version of polo. Unless these parties are drawn into the process in some fashion, no peace accord will hold. And until these parties sense that there is a credible endgame for forging a peace accord in Afghanistan that protects their vital interests, and until they gain some clarity into both the process and terms of a negotiated endgame, they have every incentive to continue to meddle destructively and promote the divisions between Afghans.

The Taliban has established a shadow national organization corresponding to most of Afghanistan, although it is more prevalent in the south and southeast. The IEA did, after all, exercise nominal control over 95 percent of the territory of Afghanistan for several years. Many of the local leaders of this shadow organization have been killed or captured, and the pace of attrition increased in 2010 due to expanded drone targeting and special operations raids and to the troop surge in Helmand and Kandahar.

President Karzai may be inclined to strike a top-level deal with the Taliban leaders and leaders of the former Northern Alliance groups, paying less attention to the interests of parties lower in the power hierarchy. Should this happen, less-important regional strongmen, elements within the military or intelligence services, and groups within civil society may morph into roadblocks or spoilers. On their own or allied with each other out of convenience, embattled warlords will appeal to their patrons abroad, and threatened civil society groups will almost certainly reach out to NATO governments, other donor countries (such as Japan), and Western civil society if they see their interests being compromised in a top-level deal.

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Afghan Peace Talks: A Primer by James Shinn

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