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Afghanistan's Insurgency - SCT Article - Feb2010

Afghanistan's Insurgency - SCT Article - Feb2010

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Afghanistan's Ins
This article was downloaded by: [University of York] On: 5 February 2010 Access details: Access Details: [subscription number 903268926] Publisher Routledge Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House, 3741 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK

Studies in Conflict & Terrorism

Publication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~content=t713742821

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This article was downloaded by: [University of York] On: 5 February 2010 Access details: Access Details: [subscription number 903268926

] Publisher Routledge Informa Ltd Registered in England and Wales Registered Number: 1072954 Registered office: Mortimer House, 3741 Mortimer Street, London W1T 3JH, UK

Studies in Conflict & Terrorism

Publication details, including instructions for authors and subscription information: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~content=t713742821

Afghanistan's Insurgency and the Viability of a Political Settlement

Sultan Barakat a; Steven A. Zyck a a Post-war Reconstruction & Development Unit, Department of Politics, University of York, York, UK Online publication date: 05 February 2010

To cite this Article Barakat, Sultan and Zyck, Steven A.(2010) 'Afghanistan's Insurgency and the Viability of a Political

Settlement', Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 33: 3, 193 — 210 To link to this Article: DOI: 10.1080/10576100903555804 URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10576100903555804

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Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 33:193–210, 2010 Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC ISSN: 1057-610X print / 1521-0731 online DOI: 10.1080/10576100903555804

Afghanistan’s Insurgency and the Viability of a Political Settlement
SULTAN BARAKAT STEVEN A. ZYCK
Post-war Reconstruction & Development Unit, Department of Politics University of York York, UK
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The international intervention in Afghanistan has contributed to entrenched state weakness and rising insecurity. Despite increased references to the need for reconciliation with the Taliban and a political solution to the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan, few specifics have been offered by academics or policymakers. Building on research into conflict resolution and an analysis of the composition and motivation of the insurgency, this article addresses this gap by asking whether conditions are currently “ripe” for a negotiated settlement, how “ripeness” may be achieved, and, once achieved, how a political settlement might best be pursued.

In June of 1971, Roger G. Neumann, then–U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, sent a confidential “airgram” to his superiors in Washington. Entitled “A U.S. Strategy for the ‘70’s,” the recently declassified document provides a striking symmetry to the present situation with its focus on Afghanistan’s lackluster leadership, weak governance, and uncoordinated international assistance programs. Neumann, had he not died a decade ago this year, may very well have repeated his sober, 38-year-old assessment today: “Although there are a number of important factors favorable to continued realization of our objectives [in Afghanistan] in this decade, the unfavorable factors now outweigh the former. The current level of program activity . . . is not sufficient to remedy the fundamental problems which will deleteriously affect our objectives.”1 Indeed, Neumann’s son, Ronald, may have felt similarly from his post as U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan from 2005 to 2007, the time period in which the political and security situation deteriorated while the tools to address it stagnated. As a result of this stagnation, Afghanistan today faces numerous challenges related to political legitimacy and, most importantly, security. Despite such impediments, the viability of a negotiated settlement may be greater than at any point since the signing of the Bonn Agreement in December 2001. Perhaps sensing this opportunity, the U.K. strategy for Afghanistan released in April 2009 highlights “the importance of offering a route back into mainstream politics and society for insurgents willing to renounce violence and
Received 18 March 2009; accepted 6 June 2009. Address correspondence to Sultan Barakat, Professor of Politics and Director, PRDU, Department of Politics, Derwent College, University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD, UK. E-mail: szb1@york.ac.uk

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embrace the Afghan constitution,” a sentiment echoed in the Obama administration’s recently released white paper on Afghanistan and Pakistan.2 Yet, there remains little consensus upon why a political solution, reconciliation, and negotiations are now seemingly so plausible or how these diplomatic concepts may be affected by an anticipated escalation in U.S. military engagement. This article attempts to tackle those very questions by examining the composition and motivation of the Taliban-led insurgency and by offering a corresponding series of recommendations aimed at fostering conditions in which a negotiated settlement is most likely to emerge and to succeed in bringing stability. The authors argue that despite the deterioration of security, the possibility for a political resolution appears increasingly likely due to the decreased cohesion among the Taliban-led insurgency. Despite its projected strength, the insurgency has grown in size and impact primarily through the amalgamation of several independent opposition groups and the recruitment of individuals seeking, most notably, pride, income, retribution for civilian deaths, and a sense of purpose. As such, its support is broadening but remains shallow, and improved international and Afghan government interventions could lead to conditions that are “ripe” for a negotiated political settlement. Such interventions may involve a combination of expanded but targeted military activity, increased economic development assistance, strengthened anti-corruption measures, and community self-defense programs. Such an approach would have the effect of fostering a “mutually hurting stalemate” by reducing insurgent recruitment while, at the same time, international military and reconstruction activities reach contextually appropriate levels.3 The need for and route to a political settlement became apparent as the authors contributed to a study of Afghanistan on behalf of the British government throughout 2008. This study, Understanding Afghanistan: A Strategic Conflict Assessment, included interviews with Afghan security services, former Taliban members, high ranking Afghan officials, diplomats, NATO military commanders, and many others and was conducted by an international team of leading Afghanistan experts.4

The Contemporary Context
At first glance, it would not necessarily appear that insurgents have cause to consider anything other than full control of Afghanistan. The Afghan state controls, according to best estimates, a third of the country.5 An even greater proportion, 40 percent, of the Afghan National Army (ANA) is absent without leave (AWOL) at any given point in time, and the national police force is seen, in the words of am American military commander, “to exploit and extort” rather than “to serve and to protect.”6 The courts, according to the United Nations (UN), control roughly 20 percent of all judicial functions and are discredited by rampant corruption.7 Bribe seeking and the imposition of excessive formal and “informal” taxes, compounded by insecurity, resulted in a 50 percent reduction in the number of international businesses registered in Afghanistan within 2007 alone according to the Afghan Investment Support Agency (AISA).8 The population, increasingly disenchanted with the government, has fallen back on base patterns of self-protection, and communities rally around local strongmen in “friendly” areas and insurgents elsewhere after having widely concluded the state’s collapse is more a question of “when” than “if.” Militias supposedly disarmed and demobilized by the UN continue to function and re-arm in the North, although many were absorbed wholesale into the security services or transformed into ubiquitous private security companies under their former warlord bosses. Poppy cultivation, rising until this last year, has finally begun to recede as the value of wheat surpasses that of opium, although not before a half-decade of misguided eradication

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efforts impoverished (and likely radicalized) thousands of the most vulnerable Afghans. Eradication compelled traffickers to infect an ever-widening geographical area to maintain and increase production.9 The narcotics industry, rather than being encircled and contained, was swept across the country as it was chased from one area to another, hastening its expansion in the process. Prior to 2008, poppies were being grown—and, increasingly, processed—within up to 28 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces.10 Unlikely ideas such as converting Afghan poppies into painkillers are repeatedly discussed, although plausible ones, such as controlling the supply of precursor chemicals that allow traffickers to process poppies and, hence, substantially increase their profit margins, have gone relatively unnoticed until recently.11 The mounting frustration surrounding this issue recently impelled NATO to bend the limits of international law by allowing its forces to attack and kill narcotics traffickers without proof of their engagement in the insurgency.12 The international response to these challenges has been wholly inadequate. Three times as many troops were deployed to Iraq, a smaller, less populous, and far more urbanized country, than were initially sent to Afghanistan. Of the troops on the ground, many under the banner of NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) are “stovepiped” to national capitals whose “caveats” prevent them from engaging in kinetic operations. NATO commanders, as a result, face little flexibility or control over their own soldiers. On the humanitarian front, per capita reconstruction assistance for Afghanistan is a third what was provided in Iraq and one-twelfth given to Bosnia and Herzegovina more than a decade ago despite the appalling lack of infrastructure, human resources, state institutions, and basic services in Afghanistan.13 (In 2007, it was ranked 174 of 178 countries on the UN’s Human Development Index.) Proud pronouncements of billion-dollar aid packages befuddle a predominantly rural population that, despite 8-plus percent annual improvements in GDP, rarely sees the benefits. Corruption and the “trickle down” provision of assistance from donors to contractors to subcontractors and, finally, to sub-sub-contractors, has vastly inflated the costs of delivering assistance. A kilometer of road costs nearly $600,000 to build in Afghanistan, more than twice what the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers had anticipated it should “logically” cost.14 Watchdog and advocacy groups have highlighted that 40 percent of aid provided to Afghanistan makes its way back to Western countries due to the rise of two-thousanddollar-per-day consultants and donors’ aid conditionalities.15 The money that stays within Afghanistan not only suffers from a lack of coordination but also bypasses line ministries— health, education, and so on—not to mention the much-touted National Assembly, which has become a cauldron of criticism after being denied a genuine role in governing the country. As a result of the state’s observer status in Afghanistan’s reconstruction, Western priorities have outshined those expressed by Afghans. More than 22,000 communities, or two-thirds of those in the country, have received assistance in establishing participatory local councils through the National Solidarity Program (NSP), but only one in six farmers had received agricultural support half a decade after aid dollars began flowing.16 The state is viewed as marginal and as frequently more harmful than either beneficial or benign, and the inability of the international community to improve the rural economy or maintain security is met with disdainful surprise by the local population and with encouragement by insurgent recruiters. The result has been an inexorable decline in security. Routed rather than defeated, the Taliban and its ilk regrouped across the border in Pakistan after 2002 and, since 2005, have proceeded to launch primarily asymmetric attacks against the Afghan government and security services, international targets, and civilian populations. Improvised explosive device (IED) attacks have risen almost 16 fold, from 83 in 2003 to 1,314 in 2007. Suicide bombings have seen an even greater spike, from only two in 2003

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and 17 in 2005 to 137 in 2007 despite Afghans’s traditional abhorrence for the method. Veritable terrorist attacks—those that primarily target civilians—have more than doubled from 491 in 2005 to 1,127 in 2007 while also growing incrementally more sophisticated. More than 80 percent of attacks—up from 70 percent in 2006—result in fatalities, and each attack now claims at least 24 percent more lives than in 2006.17 Such attacks have contributed to more than half of conflict-related civilian fatalities—which the UN confirms as having risen by 40 percent between 2007 and 2008—with the remainder resulting from pro-government forces.18 The UN reports that more than two-thirds of civilian fatalities attributed to pro-government elements are caused by errant international air strikes.19 Geographically, the violence has spread across the entirety of the South and East and begun to encroach on the relatively more peaceful North and West. A broadened area under threat poses a novel challenge for military forces that have not seen their numbers increase at nearly the same rate as insecurity. The result seems to be a force that is more vulnerable, a fact bolstered by the deaths of 10 French soldiers in an attack east of Kabul in August 2008, only a month after nine American troops died while defending a small, soft-bodied outpost against a 200-insurgent onslaught in eastern Afghanistan. Attacks in that part of the country increased by 50 percent between 2007 and 2008, and security incident maps appear more and more as if a noose is being drawn around Kabul. The U.S.-led Coalition has seen its annual number of fatalities increase from 68 in 2002, when “active” fighting against the Taliban was still ongoing, to 522 in 2009. Coalition military fatalities during the first quarter of 2009 were nearly twice that during the same period a year earlier.20

Defining the Insurgency
The rising level of insecurity makes understanding the nature and motivation of the Talibanled insurgency critically important for stabilization efforts. Such an understanding has implications for both short-term counterinsurgency strategies and medium-term attempts at achieving a negotiated political settlement. For example, an ability to undermine insurgent recruitment will reduce the spread of the Taliban and its affiliates and sap its momentum before a tipping point, in which large numbers of people flock to a near-victorious insurgency, is reached. The goal in doing so is to create a “mutually hurting stalemate” that, as Zartman has highlighted, is a critical factor in establishing conditions that are “ripe” for negotiations.21 The likelihood that either side will make or accept an offer of mediation or negotiation is highly limited given the present circumstances in which both sides perceive themselves as realistically being able to militarily defeat or at least outlast their opponent. Current military and civilian operations in Afghanistan have been severely hindered by a lack of appreciation for those factors that drive the insurgency and facilitate their recruitment efforts. They have, rather, been driven by singular causes drawn vaguely from the anti-Soviet jihad. Most have posited that instinctive opposition to modernization and foreign intervention, Islamic fundamentalism, or poppy-driven greed play key roles.22 However, extensive field research undertaken as part of this research shows that fighters’ and groups’ motives are multifaceted and, in particular, far more parochial, often related to issues of retribution, respect, and access to resources. The lack of ideological motives coupled with the divergence of objectives has created an opening for the fragmentation of the insurgency, the establishment of a stalemate, and the isolation of high-level insurgent leaders. In addition to being heterogeneous, it is unclear how many antigovernment elements in Afghanistan could be formally labeled as insurgents. According to its formal definition,

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insurgency involves “a popular movement that seeks to overthrow the status quo through subversion, political activity, insurrection, armed conflict and terrorism.”23 Here one may expand on this definition to include specific objectives, such as, most commonly, the overthrow of a state, pursuit of independence for a particular territory, or departure of occupying forces.24 Yet much of what is seen today has no such aims. Counterinsurgency and security experts within Afghanistan note that up to a third of all violent attacks nationwide (and more than half in the South) attributed to the insurgency involve local power tussles between communities and tribes—not Taliban members or insurgents—which perceive themselves as marginalized in the distribution of political power, land, water, and other government-controlled resources.25 In such instances, the central issue remains governance, and violence is aimed at gaining greater access to the state and to public goods rather than toppling national or even sub-national government institutions.26 Semantics aside, the so-called insurgency remains a small movement. While ascertaining the size of a militant movement is challenging, best estimates are that the insurgency included a maximum of 20,000 fighters as of late 2008, the vast majority of them parttime insurgents or temporary affiliates whose participation fluctuates seasonally and on the basis of local provocation. Each is generally affiliated not with the generic insurgency, which is a rhetorical rather than operational construct, but with the numerous groups that fight alongside the Taliban. Of these, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s Hizb-e Islami, sometimes abbreviated as HiG, is likely the most relevant. Hekmatyar, a powerful mujahidin leader, currently plays a dual militant and political role. In 2007, he attempted reconciliation with the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai while reportedly plotting antigovernment attacks. Today, he wages war against the government and its international backers while his proxies—although officially independent of his influence—sit in the Wolesi Jirga (National Assembly) in Kabul. Hizb-e Islami was, in 2006, estimated to comprise a small proportion, perhaps 10 percent, of a then-smaller insurgency. Yet, within slightly more than two years, officials with the international community and the Afghan government report that its “share” of the insurgency has risen to as much as 25 percent.27 Hizb-e Islami recruitment has stepped up in universities, its traditional base of support, although Hekmatyar’s anti-American rhetoric has also drawn less educated and more fundamentalist members to its ranks. Myriad smaller groups further broaden the shoulders of the Taliban-led insurgency. These include, most notably, the militant network led by Jalaluddin Haqqani, which was credited for the well-coordinated January 2008 bombing of the Serena Hotel in Kabul in addition to the July 2008 attack against the Indian embassy and the February 2009 storming of the Afghan Ministry of Justice.28 A veteran of the anti-Soviet jihad, Haqqani is widely respected as a tactician and operates bases in both Afghanistan and, in particular, the province of Waziristan in Pakistan. In addition, the Pakistani Taliban (officially, Tehreek-e Taliban), headed by Baitullah Mehsud until his death in August 2009, and several other Pakistani groups such as Lashkar-e Taiba, which was implicated in the November 2008 Mumbai attacks, fight in parallel to and sometimes alongside the Taliban, Hizb-e Islami, and the Haqqani Network (a trinity that Anthony Cordesman of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies refers to as “Taliban-HiG-Haqqani”).29 Each of these groups, to varying degrees, receives support from Pakistani elements, an outgrowth of the border regions’ historical, tribal, and ethno-cultural similarities and the Soviet-era relocation of hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees across the Durand Line into Pakistan.30 Many of the non-state supporters of the contemporary Afghan insurgency in Pakistan include the organizations listed earlier, such as Lashkar-e Taiba, in addition to Jaish-i Muhammad, Harakat ul-Mujahidin, Tereek-na-faz-sharia-muslameen,

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and others.31 Furthermore, Afghan groups have well-established bases within Pakistan, with the Afghan Taliban in Baluchistan, Hekmatyar’s Hizb-e Islami in the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP), and Haqqani’s network in northern Waziristan. Finally, Pakistani governmental bodies, most notably the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) department and the Frontier Corps, have also been implicated in assisting the Afghan insurgency by transporting wounded insurgents for treatment, providing training and finances, and divulging intelligence concerning U.S. and NATO military operations.32

Motivating the Insurgency
Pakistani governmental and nongovernmental engagement in the Afghan insurgency emerges primarily from logical interests. The government in Islamabad remains opposed to India’s increased engagement in Afghanistan due primarily to the unsettled Kashmir conflict. Furthermore, given the threat posed by a large and hostile Islamist insurgency in Afghanistan, the Pakistani government hopes to establish friendly or at least nonconfrontational relations with Afghan insurgents in the event that Taliban control is wholly or partly re-established. Other elements of the ISI and Pakistan government appear to have concerns with Western encroachment into Pakistan and the strong relationship between India and the United States, thus making support for the Afghan insurgency a manifestation of the notion that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” For Pakistani insurgents, the motives are even more simplistic; Afghanistan represents an opportunity to wage war against the West, to attack the American government that has long supported successive Pakistani regimes, and to open up a sanctuary from which to eventually stage and launch attacks against the Pakistani government and potentially India. In comparison, the motives of the Afghan insurgency are, in some ways, less oriented around rational self-interest and regional political agendas. The growth of the Taliban-led insurgency from a relatively small and scattered band of fighters in early 2002 to a 20,000person movement has been fueled by the recruitment of fighters regardless of rather than due to their ideological orientation. As such, only a small proportion of today’s insurgents are influenced by a strict adherence to a fundamentalist interpretation of Islam that mandates a holy war against the West, and very few have goals that extend beyond their district let alone beyond the borders of Afghanistan. The vast majority seeks safety, sovereignty, masculinity, and, although widely overlooked, a strong bargaining chip through which to enter rather than topple the Afghan government. Creating opportunities for such objectives to be met without violence and outside of the insurgency will be critically important in fostering the sort of stalemate necessary for negotiations to move forward. Of insurgents’ numerous aims, enrichment is rarely one of them. Economics, greed, or profit, despite conventional wisdom to the contrary, play a marginal role despite a booming Afghan poppy industry valued at $2.6 billion annual (or 36 percent of the licit gross domestic product [GDP]).33 While many interpretations of the following dynamic are possible, one of the insurgency’s most “successful” years thus far, 2008, coincided with a reduction in poppy cultivation and in the cessation of the trade in seven provinces due primarily to the rising value of wheat.34 Contrary to common perceptions, the Taliban wisely relies on a diversified portfolio including the re-importation of electronics and other luxury items through Afghanistan and back into Pakistan in addition to the taxation of narcotics, marble, and legal agriculture among other goods and services on both sides of the Durand Line.35 The most significant source of income, however, likely remains with Al Qaeda and its global fund-raising networks, which are far more difficult to disrupt or eradicate.36

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One of the principal and least commonly noted motives is retribution or what Kalyvas terms “personal vengeance.”37 Errant air strikes that have killed hundreds of civilians since the war’s beginning draw immense revulsion, rage, and fear, particularly when the deaths are denied or downplayed by international military commanders. Worse yet, they make the Afghan government appear, albeit correctly, unable to effectively influence the international forces and their strategies. Each misguided attack, door-to-door search, or seemingly reckless military convoy generates fear and resentment and pushes men in the area closer toward joining the insurgency for, at least, an opportunistic, retributive attack. This lesson was most clearly learned in Wanat, in Nuristan Province, where nine American soldiers were killed in July 2008 after, the week prior, 36 civilians had been killed in Coalition air strikes. Twenty-one of the civilians were killed while burying 15 neighbors killed the previous day in a series of tragedies that could not have been better planned by Taliban recruiters. The same could be said of the May 2009 attacks in which up to 130 civilians were reportedly killed by an American airstrike after taking shelter from a nearby battle.38 Those who are less concerned about their physical security may still fear for their cultural and religious integrity. Invasive and uncoordinated local governance interventions by international nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), in particular, have attempted to undermine traditional and religious leaders, and gender-focused programming has led to cultural discomfort in many rural areas. Compliance is frequently begrudging rather than genuine, and gains in local-level democratization and women’s empowerment collapse when no longer “incentivized” by the international community.39 Similarly, events such as the international protection of Afghan Christian convert Abdul Rahman or torture of overwhelmingly Islamic prisoners in Guantanamo Bay have added credence to propagandistic claims that the “War on Terror” has morphed into (or has always been) a “war on Islam.”40 While such claims are baseless, the United States and broader international community have failed to adequately manage perceptions. The conflict in Iraq and events such as the Abu Ghraib prison scandal of 2005 and the “Danish cartoon crisis” of 2006 served to provoke religious sentiment that has been successfully exploited by the insurgency. For Afghanistan’s young male population, a demographic group that has formed the basis of the insurgency’s growth, the previously discussed motivations are frequently compounded by issues of employment, identity, and masculinity. Such individuals viewed the international intervention somewhat optimistically as heralding an opportunity, after several decades of conflict, for economic growth, for stable employment, and for a comfortable family life. Years of warfare and a meager economy had prevented them from achieving a definition of masculinity which, while varied, is based on starting a family and providing adequately for one’s wife and children. As such, their expectations for the post-Bonn standard of living were among the most inflated, and this group felt betrayed as opportunities failed to materialize, particularly in rural areas.41 These young men are increasingly finding, as had their fathers’ generation, that combat may be their only viable source of pride, meaning, and, in a few rare instances, income.42 The U.S. government’s goal of eradicating poppies and the international community’s almost inexplicable lack of support for agriculture, which employs two-thirds of all Afghans, further aggravated this key demographic segment and led to their participation in insurgent groups.43 Finally, and least discussed, many Taliban, including those at the higher echelons, initially viewed a resurgence of violence as a means of gaining admission to the government after the Bonn Agreement had excluded their formal participation. According to former Taliban members, when the government’s or international community’s anticipated gestures of goodwill failed to materialize and the insurgency gained momentum, the hopes

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for a collaborative co-existence subsided.44 The Taliban and its associates started to adopt a secondary strategy to carve out substantial portions of land beyond the control of the government. Despite the success of this approach, with 10 to 30 percent of Afghanistan under the control of insurgent groups and less than a third effectively “held” by the state, Taliban experts maintain that offers of power-sharing remain a high priority for Mullah Omar, Hekmatyar, and others.45 While the insurgency may be capable of re-creating an “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan,” as the country was known by the Taliban, this goal would likely come far into the future and at great cost. In the process, the Taliban and its affiliates would lose substantial numbers of fighters and commanders and once again become internationally marginalized; the Taliban’s security would constantly be under threat from the United States (among others), and the insurgents’ presently growing popularity would be squandered through the brutality necessary for pacifying ethnic minorities and its numerous ethnic Pashtun opponents. As a result, the insurgency would prefer only one thing more than contested, partial rule—the legitimacy provided by incorporation into the Afghan state. This factor, more than any other, suggests that a negotiated political settlement is, under the right conditions, possible.

Setting the Stage for a Negotiated Settlement
Providing such legitimacy remains politically difficult both within an Afghan government that includes many of the Taliban’s former enemies and within a U.S.-led coalition that, until recently, clung to a policy of non-negotiation. Even considering such an option will require, as Neumann suggested in his confidential message of 1971, accepting “nothing as granted, as too holy or sanctified by contemporary or past doctrine to be unchallenged”.46 Yet, the feasibility of pursuing a negotiated political settlement with the Taliban is aided by the basic fact that many of the current American and international priorities will be critical in “softening up the ground” for power-sharing discussions and discouraging the Taliban’s belief, as reflected by Adam Roberts, that “they are in a position of strength.”47 The TalibanHiG-Haqqani trio must perceive a tide shift against them if they are to seriously entertain political negotiations and ratchet down any lingering hopes for returning to the early 2001 status quo ante. Doing so will require a three-pronged approach involving military victories, the reduction or even reversal of Taliban recruitment, and the promotion of good national and sub-national governance. As previously indicated, the military response to the mounting insurgency has been grossly inadequate, a fact echoed by American and foreign military commanders for more than seven years. The redeployment of one brigade of approximately 4,500 troops in 2008 by former President George W. Bush was a solid first step. However, given the preexisting vulnerability of force within Afghanistan, smaller numbers of additional troops are more likely to fill gaps rather than provide new military options. The announced deployment of 30,000 additional troops by U.S. President Barack Obama in 2009 means that the military mission will become less wedded to aerial attacks that occasionally result in civilian deaths, and an expanded on-the-ground military presence may discourage attacks by all but the most committed insurgents.48 Yet, to ensure that increased numbers of troops do not incite greater resistance, it will also be critical to participate in a widespread information campaign highlighting that troop levels will be significantly reduced once the number of insurgent attacks is brought under control.49 In doing so, Afghans may be more prone to viewing the Taliban and its affiliates, rather than foreigners, as risking their country’s sovereignty.50 Another highly controversial but potentially effective means of enhancing security without provoking nationalist sentiments comes in the form of the Afghan Social Outreach

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Program (ASOP). Based on the arbakai model of community self-defense militias customarily found in a small number of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces, ASOP aims—alongside objectives pertaining to community-driven development and political participation—to provide payments for local armed groups to resist insurgent infiltration.51 Social regulation as well as financial oversight will be maintained not by the central government, which will nonetheless handle administration through the interior ministry’s Independent Directorate for Local Governance (IDLG), but rather by respected traditional leaders who will be charged with disbursing payments. Although such a move has been compared to the quickly and endemically corrupted Afghan National Auxiliary Police (ANAP), which was disbanded in 2008, the new approach will not involve the distribution of weapons or police uniforms as had its forerunner. Rather, the ANAP is currently findings it re-incarnation through the Afghan Public Protection Program (AP3), which includes the provision of training and weapons to an initial cohort of 1,200 “volunteers” who are tasked with overseeing checkpoints and engaging in other “static defence” functions.52 Some coordination between ASOP and AP3 has occurred, with shuras (councils) created under the former selecting young men for the latter in at least Wardak province, southwest of Kabul, the pilot area for AP3.53 Further integration of the two approaches to community self-defense seems likely as the international community moves to re-create the seemingly successful “Sons of Iraq” experience in Afghanistan. By providing money, respect, and autonomy—Afghanistan’s three forms of currency—to the communities, it is hoped that the population will look more favorably on the central government and its financiers. Furthermore, local self-defense forces will, per design, resist (and kill) insurgent forces who attempt to travel through, launch attacks from, or seek shelter within their communities. Although ASOP and AP3 have generated heated debate and raised objections and comparisons to failed Soviet tactics of the late 1980s, the failure of state-oriented, liberal-democratic approaches appears to warrant such radical and quasi-customary strategies. That said, close scrutiny must be maintained, and the relative benefits of ASOP and AP3 must be carefully assessed. The ability to foster self-defense without distributing weapons or uniforms, which could be used against the government or international forces, makes ASOP, which can also be quickly expanded, appear to be the more suitable of the two approaches. Domestic recruitment, one of the most substantial challenges, may be reduced by increasing numbers of troops and the co-optation of communities into ASOP and AP3, though more must be done. Minimizing provocative aerial bombings will provide a solid start, and the cessation of poppy eradication will serve as a public relations boon in, most notably, the South and East. Once eradication has ceased, the next challenge will be to provide adequate levels of assistance for licit agriculture. Value chains such as the poppy sector had developed—with credit providers, input vendors, transportation networks, and processing facilities—must be replicated in relation to wheat, the value of which has nearly tripled from $320 to $840 per acre in the past two years, and other licit crops.54 Massive irrigation rehabilitation projects contracted directly and transparently to trusted community councils will help avoid waste and generate income until the economic benefits of agricultural value chains emerge. Northern, central, and, to a lesser extent, western Afghanistan—which are smarting at the focus of development assistance upon the South, which view ASOP and the resuscitation of arbakai as a pro-Pashtun plot, and that tend to have a more engrained hostility to the Taliban—must become equally awash in development assistance in order to look neutrally if not favorably on a negotiated solution.55 In light of such improvements, Afghanistan’s “angry young men” will see little reason to fight, and optimism about the country’s future will rebound. Insurgent groups may find recruitment

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a greater challenge, and their likely increase in conscription at gunpoint will erode their credibility and remind the Afghan population of the Taliban’s former brutality.56 Indeed, the greatest opponent of insurgent recruitment is the insurgency itself. The Taliban has never had broad, nationwide, or even pan-Pashtun appeal, and its customary focus on loyalty led it to develop around a tribal rather than strictly ideological leadership.57 Its attempts to generate a greater following are already undermined by its limited but increasing use of forcible recruitment, its seeming disregard for civilian casualties, and its cooperation with non-ideological “thugs.”58 The Taliban has attempted to modify its negative public relations, however, by lifting its bans on music, television, kite-flying, dog-fighting, and shaving, although it remains to be seen which image of the Taliban—as violent and oppressive or as nationalistic and moderate—will resonate with the general population.59 The state’s performance will play a major role in determining whether or not the Taliban and the insurgency they lead are viewed negatively or as the better of two somewhat unappetizing options. Discrediting the Taliban and reducing its draw must then be accompanied by tangible evidence that the state remains relevant and, at minimum, benign. The upcoming presidential election recently scheduled for August 2009 provides an opportunity for Karzai, both before and immediately following the election, to remove under-performing or corrupt officials. Doing so may prove a shrewd and seemingly (although falsely) self-sacrificial move given that winning U.S. support, a goal which would be furthered through anti-corruption measures, is necessary for his political future.60 Despite regular Afghans’s discontentment with the mounting insecurity and slow pace of reconstruction, they recognize that having a leader respected by the American political establishment is fundamental to the country’s security and to the government’s survival. Ridding the government of its most corrupt members may either cost or ensure him re-election but, in either case, could help renew the Afghan public’s and international community’s faith in state institutions. Such a move, which will require close military “attention” to former warlord-linked militias and inducements for ousted officials to relocate, would then need to be followed up (or preceded) by a system to “incentivize” good governance. Assistance, for instance, may be provided to the state—rather than to NGOs or private contractors—according to a sliding scale whereby recorded “diversions” of funds result in future decreases in assistance. This approach, occurring simultaneously at the national as well as provincial and district levels, could help to promote good and legitimate governance. Furthermore, an immensely well-funded anti-corruption service accompanied by corruption courts could be empowered to investigate abuses, quickly and publicly try offenders, protect “whistleblowers,” and re-possess violators’ illicitly accrued possessions. The police, itself perhaps the most common source of corruption for the common Afghan, already has a promising model in place, the Focused District Development Program (FDDP), which promotes professional training and community-driven oversight of the security services. The lack of police trainers, however, continues to clog the pipes, thus allowing FDDP to tackle only one of Afghanistan’s nearly 400 districts per month (although the pace may quicken due to the Program’s early perceived successes).61 At its initial rate of progress, the entirety of the Afghan National Police (ANP) will have been subject to FDDP by 2042. Hopes for increased police trainers, a need agreed on by all parties, are unlikely as the United States, United Kingdom, NATO, and the EU Police Mission (EUPOL) deflect responsibility between one another. Given such delays, community-based governance bodies—respected shuras rather than ad hoc, NGO-sponsored committees—should be given the authority to withhold part of corrupt or abusive officers’ salaries. New approaches and, indeed, a radical decentralization of decision-making authority and finances

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to the district or municipality level may be the only way to bypass a portion of the corruption, promote local accountability, and salvage a largely mistrusted central government. It at times appears shocking that the United States, given its traditions of decentralized governance and community control, has so strongly pursued approaches that revolve around and put a great deal of faith in the central government. Finally, regardless of all improvements made within Afghanistan, conditions will not be ripe for the beginnings of a negotiated settlement until the Pakistani sanctuary for insurgents targeting Afghanistan is largely or totally removed from the equation. Political settlements involving Pakistani tribes or armed elements, which have swapped direct political control and military presence in exchange for guarantees not to challenge the Pakistani government, have historically served as pretext for the expansion of Pakistani insurgent activities.62 The collapse, in May 2009, of the Pakistani government’s deal with Taliban elements in the Swat Valley seem likely to have poisoned the hopes for future such deals and President Asif Ali Zardari’s credibility with populations in the border provinces.63 Yet, despite the Pakistani military’s recent efforts, it appears that armed confrontation will be protracted and enhance recruitment efforts among the Pakistani Taliban, Lashkar-e Taiba, and others. While accompanying development financing is intended to counter insurgent recruitment, it seems unlikely that, in Pakistan’s more ideologically oriented and strategic conflict, agricultural assistance will provide symbolism nearly on par with that of large-scale military operations. Equally troubling, the displacement of several hundred thousand people from the border provinces due to ongoing fighting is likely to facilitate the geographical expansion of Islamist activities in the country beyond the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), NWFP, Waziristan, and Baluchistan. Furthermore, the encampment of displaced persons within Pakistan may result in increased radicalization and the creation of economic, psychosocial, and geographical conditions ideal for insurgent recruitment. The primary benefit of the current militarized strategy is the distraction of Pakistani insurgent groups from the conflict in Afghanistan. While too early to tell, one can expect this diversion to prevent the level of violence from reaching a tipping point (if not necessarily recede) in Afghanistan, thus buying greater (although still insufficient) time to implement the aforementioned improvements in governance, police reform, community self-defense, and economic growth. That said, Pakistan must be stabilized—rather than set aflame—in order to ensure lasting security benefits for Afghanistan and the region as a whole. The ISI remains overly and inappropriately involved with the insurgents, and Pakistani generals have reported their troops’ distaste for firing on their own countrymen.64 Greater political autonomy, the predictable outcome of past negotiations, will only enable insurgents and Al Qaeda to expand their presence in the “Pakistani sanctuary.” As a result of the inadequacy of the previously attempted alternatives, the only remaining solution appears to involve a combination of increased governmental and military presence combined with inducements such as highly decentralized governance, allowance for Sharia law, and a deluge of Pakistani government and international development assistance. As in Afghanistan, a targeted focus on former fighters, starting with amnesty for past activities and concluding with extensive in-kind livelihood support, and other populations vulnerable to mobilization or insurgent recruitment, particularly young and unemployed men, will be critical. Gaining the security and so-called humanitarian space to implement such activities will, given the present level of mistrust, require third-party intervention to broker an initial cease-fire and, eventually, a broader non-aggression agreement. A country such as Qatar, which possesses both experience handling sensitive negotiations and resources to dedicate to the subsequent reconstruction and development, is well placed to take a leading role; Turkey, with its strong ties to Pakistan and complementary military ethos, may also be

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recruited to take the lead in negotiations or in monitoring the outcomes of any agreements, potentially through a small cadre of military advisers of peacekeepers.65 Added financing for infrastructure and economic growth, furthermore, may be provided by a Chinese government that views a strong and stable neighbor in Pakistan as critical both for tempering its home-grown Islamist movements in western China and for checking Indian influence in the region. The question, however, remains whether third-party intervention possesses similar potential within Afghanistan.

Getting to “Yes”
With the shrinking of the “Pakistani sanctuary,” a relatively more credible Afghan state in place, and a Taliban-led insurgency that is shrinking, on the run, and increasingly reliant on forcible recruitment and mistrusted foreign fighters, the situation appears likely to be ripe for dialogue. After the appropriate low-level and track-two discussion—which have already begun, albeit with a lack of coordination and strategy—formal negotiations on the incorporation of the Taliban and its affiliates into the government could be launched. The majority of the necessary preconditions empirically identified by Hartzell and Hoddie already exist or could fairly easily be created. These include: (i) a lengthy war that reduces willingness to continue fighting, (ii) a relatively low level of casualties to overcome the emotional and psychological entrenchment of intense fighting, and (iii) the presence or guaranteed arrival of peacekeepers.66 Given that Afghanistan has been in conflict for three decades, the first criteria is met in abundance. The second criteria exists despite exponentially rising numbers of attacks, although planned increases in international and Afghan ground forces risk upsetting this situation; instead, the added numbers of soldiers should enable quick and highly visible victories against armed groups but then allow a period of lower-level operations during which the insurgent groups may be approached regarding a negotiated settlement. The third criteria is the least feasible given that NATO and U.S. forces are both viewed as participants in the conflict and unlikely to qualify as peacekeepers regardless of the flag under which they serve. The addition of blue berets under a UN mandate furthermore appears unlikely given the war weariness affecting many troopsupplying nations, the unwillingness of Pakistan, the largest supplier of soldiers to UN peacekeeping operations, to become further involved, and the low-key approach adopted by the UN under Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. However, the Obama administration may possess sufficient international political capital to resuscitate the notion, originally floated by then–Secretary of State Colin Powell in November 2001, that Islamic countries, building upon past offers from Turkey, Bangladesh, and Indonesia, provide peacekeepers for Afghanistan.67 That said, peacekeepers should be viewed as beneficial to although not critical for a negotiated political settlement. The fulfillment of two or, preferably, three such conditions will create an enabling environment for an offer of negotiations, although, as scholars have noted for more than three decades, particular conditions must also be met in order to ensure that rebel groups are willing to agree to participate. Those actors with a lengthy history in the country and involvement in the conflict are most likely to offer to negotiate a resolution.68 These countries or organizations, such as the United States and NATO, are also most likely to oversee successful negotiations, particularly when they are what Touval referred to as “power mediators,” those who can threaten punishment for defecting rebel groups.69 However, despite the success of such a stakeholder-driven approach, rebel groups have historically proven unwilling to accept negotiations from those so closely involved in the conflict. As such, countries such as Finland and Switzerland, which have little direct stake

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in most major conflicts, have emerged as the shepherds of negotiations and interlocutors between warring parties. Saudi Arabia, which organized Talks between Afghan government and Taliban representatives in 2008, is perhaps best suited given its Islamic credentials, substantial resources, past willingness to recognize the Taliban, and close ties to the American government. That said, the initiation of negotiations outside of the Afghan government may compound the existing crisis of legitimacy and result in an outcome acceptable to the United States and Saudi Arabia but opposed by large swaths of Afghanistan’s Northern Alliance—derived leadership. Insurgent groups, cognizant of remaining (and, according to some reports, re-arming) northern militias, would require confirmation that all key ethno-political and militant factions have agreed to abide by the outcomes of the negotiations. To address the questions of Afghan governmental legitimacy and buy-in, the Afghan government, following elections scheduled for August 2009, must take the lead, even if only symbolically, in negotiations. With Saudi Arabia playing the role of host and mediator, with discrete U.S. support and involvement, the Afghan government may formally launch “peace talks” and play a central role in managing the flow of (positive) information regarding the negotiations. In order to convey a unified front, the international community must quietly provide both carrots and sticks for would-be defectors within, most notably, the Afghan government. Development assistance for particular constituencies, financial inducements, targeted poppy eradication, forcible disarmament of illegal armed groups, and charges of corruption may provide some of the clearest routes to unanimity among the government both during and after negotiations. Similarly, the Afghan and Saudi governments must win the agreement of the Taliban and its insurgency partners to form a single negotiating bloc and to regulate their members in such a manner as to avoid spoiler violence or excessive public criticism of negotiations.70 A new Bonn Agreement, referring to the 2001 accord that paved the way for postTaliban Afghanistan, must then be created with the inclusion of the Taliban and its affiliates. As Lakhdar Brahimi, the initial special representative of the UN Secretary-General in Afghanistan stated, “the Bonn talks were dominated by one group and at that time nobody was ready to consider the partly defeated side of the conflict; therefore, the Taliban were left by themselves, which gave an opportunity to spoilers to regroup.”71 Correcting this initial misstep will, however, not only require a willingness to talk but also an ability to compromise and find common ground on numerous issues. While the content of any peace agreement must be determined by the parties to the conflict without ideas being perceived as either Western or externally imposed, the following two ideas may help ensure that negotiations begin with points of general consensus and strategic importance.72 First, in order to gain moral legitimacy and the support of key insurgent and religious leaders, the agreement must conceive a new and stronger role for Islam within the state. Indeed, greater emphasis upon Islam within Afghanistan’s government is sought not only by the insurgency but by the many Afghan officials and civilians who rightly viewed the Islamic gloss added to the institutions of state as a mere facade for a predominantly ¸ secular government. Doing so, however, must be done carefully. Rather than attempting to implement laws prescribing one particular form of Islam across a highly diverse country in which the religion includes local variations, the aforementioned radical decentralization of services and decision making should include a strong role for customary, religious leaders accompanied, at a higher level, by a national religious council to advise the president and legislature on matters of faith. Second, a general amnesty for all demobilized and disarmed fighters in Afghanistan must be provided, and the international community must provide assurances that it will both

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respect the amnesty and allow “detained” individuals to qualify following a review of the evidence against them. In 2005, an amnesty extended by the Afghan Independent Peace and Reconciliation Commission (AIPRC) to all Taliban and insurgents, including Mullah Omar himself, was morally tainted and legally undercut when the U.S. military responded by indicating their intention to capture and imprison those involved in terrorism or other major crimes.73 As Barnett Rubin, perhaps Afghanistan’s greatest foreign observer, has noted, “Political accommodation . . . will require reciprocal U.S. guarantees against detention or sanctions for any leader willing to enter into such an agreement.”74 As such, comments by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates in February 2009 are particularly encouraging. He is quoted as saying75: If there is reconciliation, if insurgents are willing to put down their arms, if the reconciliation is essentially on the terms being offered by the government then I think we would be very open to that. We have said all along that ultimately some sort of political reconciliation has to be part of the long-term solution in Afghanistan. While Gates frames negotiation as the continuation of existing policy, such comments reflect a fundamental policy shift under the Obama administration. Coupled with similar remarks by President Obama on 8 March 2009 and within the subsequently published U.S. strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, it increasingly appears as if the United States is willing to both honor and actively support efforts toward reconciliation and diplomacy.76 Indeed, as the authors have shown, diplomacy frequently stands as the final and only option in post–Cold War intra-state conflicts in which neither side is able or willing to militarily defeat their opponents. Alternative strategies, such as a protracted increase in the number of international troops in Afghanistan, do not offer the same potential to cease and enforce stability. General David McKiernan, the recently replaced American commander of American and NATO forces in Afghanistan, indicated exactly this in October of last year by notably stating, “The word I don’t use for Afghanistan is ‘surge.’“77 The sort of sustained increase in international troop levels necessary to police Afghanistan and continue fighting a growing insurgency would almost certainly be ineffective, as the Soviets, who provided more than two and a half times as many troops as the international community has thus far, came to realize. Entertaining the possibility of permitting or even facilitating negotiations with an insurgency perceived as complicit in the terrorist attacks of 9/11 is, in some ways, discomforting. However, the alternative, the collapse of Afghanistan and its reversion to an ungoverned haven for terrorists intent on de-stabilizing a nuclear-armed Pakistan, would ultimately prove harmful and more costly, in lives and dollars, in the long term. As Neumann presciently concludes his covering letter to “A U.S. Strategy for the ‘70’s”: “Our recommendations are based on an exhaustive analysis of this country’s problems and how they affect our interests. We hope Washington will see the merit of beginning now to consider long-term solutions . . . and not wait for the crises to attract our attention.”78

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Notes
1. Robert G. Neumann, “Policy Review: A U.S. Strategy for the ‘70’s,” an “airgram” sent to the U.S. State Department (26 June 1971; declassified 2008), p. 1. 2. Her Majesty’s Government, UK Policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan: The Way Forward (London: Author, April 2009), p. 8.

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3. I. William Zartman, “Ripeness Revisited,” in Paul Stern and Daniel Druckman, eds., International Conflict Resolution After the Cold War (Washington, DC: National Academy of Sciences, 2000). 4. Sultan Barakat, Antonio Giustozzi, Christopher Langton, Michael Murphy, Mark Sedra, and Arne Strand, Understanding Afghanistan: A Strategic Conflict Assessment (London: Department for International Development, 2008). This study was commissioned as part of the U.K. government’s “Understanding Afghanistan” research program. The strategic conflict assessment portion of this program was led by Sultan Barakat of the Post-War Reconstruction and Development Unit at the University of York with the assistance of Steven A. Zyck. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of each of the assessment’s authors or of the British government. 5. Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Annual Threat Assessment of the Intelligence Community for the Senate Armed Services Committee, J. Michael McConnell (Washington, DC: February 27, 2008). 6. “America and Afghanistan: Changing the Guard in Kabul?” The Economist, 12 February 2009. Available at http://www.economist.com/world/asia/displaystory.cfm?story id=13110240 7. United Nations Development Program, Bridging Modernity and Tradition: The Rule of Law and the Search for Justice (New York: Author, 2007). 8. Cited in Alfie Ulloa, Understanding Afghanistan: Growth Diagnostic Scoping Study (London: Department for International Development, 2008), pp. 24–25. 9. “The Poppy Trade,” Foreign Policy, September 2008, p. 30. 10. United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Afghanistan Opium Survey 2007 (Vienna and Kabul: Author, 2007), p. vi. 11. Tighter control of precursor chemicals was integrated as a key part of the British government’s counternarcotics strategy on 29 April 2009, and, three days earlier, the Afghan government mirrored its commitment to this issue in burning 6.5 tons of drugs and precursor chemicals. See Her Majesty’s Government, UK Policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan and Rahim Faiez, “Afghan Officials Burn 6.5 Tons of Drugs, Chemicals,” The Guardian, 26 April 2009. Available at http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/feedarticle/8474507 12. Susanne Koelbl, “NATO High Commander Issues Illegitimate Order to Kill,” Spiegel, 28 January 2009. Available at http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/0,1518,604183,00.html 13. James Dobbins, Seth G. Jones, Keith Crane, Andrew Rathmell, Brett Steele, Richard Teltschik, et al. The UN’s Role in Nation-Building: From the Congo to Iraq (Arlington, VA: RAND, 2005), p. xxviii. 14. Reuters, “In Afghanistan, A Road Doesn’t Run Through It, Yet,” 15 May 2008. Available at http://www.reuters.com/article/featuredCrisis/idUSBAK417398; see also, Carl Robichaud, The President’s Unbalanced Approach to Afghanistan (New York: The Century Foundation, 2007). 15. Matthew Waldman, Falling Short: Aid Effectiveness in Afghanistan (Kabul: Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief, 2008), p. 5. 16. Jan Koehler and Christoph Zurcher, Assessing the Impact of Development Cooperation in North East Afghanistan (Berlin: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, 2008). For information regarding the NSP and community development councils (CDCs) see, Sultan Barakat, Mark Evans, Arne Strand, and Richard Brown, Mid-Term Evaluation Report of the National Solidarity Programme (NSP), Afghanistan (Washington, DC and Kabul: World Bank and the Afghan Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development, 2006). 17. Anthony Cordesman, The Afghan-Pakistan War: A Status Update (Washington, DC: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2008). 18. United Nations Assistance Mission to Afghanistan, Armed Conflict and Civilian Casualties, Afghanistan: Trends and Developments 01 January–31 August 2008 (Kabul: Author, 2008). 19. “Afghanistan: Caught in the Crossfire,” The Economist, 17 September 2008. Available at https://www.economist.com/research/articlesBySubject/displaystory.cfm?subjectid=796681&story id=12245696 20. iCasualties, “Operation Enduring Freedom: Coalition Fatalities by Year,” iCasualties, 4 January 2010. Available at http://icasualties.org/oef/

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21. I. William Zartman, Ripe for Resolution (New York: Oxford University Press, 1989). 22. See, for instance, Niklas L.P. Swanstrom and Svante E. Cornell, A Strategic Conflict Analysis of Afghanistan (Washington, DC: Central Asia-Caucasus Institute and Silk Road Studies Program, 2005). 23. David J. Kilcullen, “Countering Global Insurgency,” Journal of Strategic Studies 28(4) (August 2005), p. 603. 24. Seth G. Jones, “The Rise of Afghanistan’s Insurgency: State Failure and Jihad,” International Security 32(4) (Spring 2008), pp. 9–10. 25. Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai, Thwarting Afghanistan’s Insurgency: A Pragmatic Approach toward Peace and Reconciliation (Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace, September 2008), p. 6. 26. Barakat et al., Understanding Afghanistan, p. 21. 27. Ibid., p. 17. 28. Richard A. Oppel, Jr., “Obama’s Special Envoy Arrives in Afghanistan,” The New York Times, 13 February 2009. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/13/world/ asia/13afghan.html?hp 29. Anthony Cordesman, Follow the Money: Why the US Is Losing the War in Afghanistan (Washington, DC: Center for Strategic and International Studies, 2008), p. 12. 30. Daniel L. Byman, Peter Chalk, Bruce Hoffman, William Rosenau, and David Brannan, Trends in Outside Support for Insurgent Movements (Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 2001), pp. 62–65. 31. Mariam Abou Zahab and Olivier Roy, Islamist Networks: The Afghan-Pakistan Connection (New York: Hurst, 2004), p. 3. 32. Seth G. Jones, Counterinsurgency in Afghanistan (Arlington, VA: RAND, 2008), p. 56. For a discussion of the June 2008 attacks by the Frontier Corps against the U.S. Army, see Dexter Filkins, “Right at the Edge,” The New York Times Magazine, 5 September 2008. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/07/magazine/07pakistan-t.html 33. UNODC and the World Bank, Afghanistan’s Drug Industry: Structure, Functioning, Dynamics, and Implications for Counter-Narcotics Policy (Vienna and Washington, DC: United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and the World Bank, 2006). 34. “The Poppy Trade,” p. 30. 35. Pir Zubair Shah and Jane Perlez, “Pakistan Marble Helps Taliban Stay in Business,” The New York Times, 14 July 2008. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/14/ world/asia/14taliban.html?scp=1&sq=%22pakistan%20marble%20helps%22&st=cse. For a comprehensive accounting of the Taliban’s sources of finances, particularly prior to the U.S. intervention in 2001, see Thomas H. Johnson, “Financing Afghan Terrorism: Thugs, Drugs, and Creative Movement of Money,” in Jeanne K. Giraldo and Harold A. Trinkunas, eds., Terrorism Financing and State Responses: A Comparative Perspective (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2007), pp. 93–114. 36. Pakistan’s Ministry of Religious Affairs, for instance, can account for only approximately $60 million of the more than $1 billion annually given as zakat (charity). Observers indicate that a portion of this money finds its ways to Pakistani as well as Afghan insurgent groups. 37. Stathis N. Kalyvas, The Logic of Violence in Civil War: Theory and Preliminary Results (Madrid: Center for Advanced Study in the Social Sciences, 2000). 38. Carlotta Gall and Taimoor Shah, “Civilian Deaths Imperil Support for Afghan War,” The New York Times, 6 May 2009. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/07/ world/asia/07afghan.html 39. Barakat et al., Mid-Term Evaluation Report of the National Solidarity Programme (NSP), Afghanistan. This report indicated that the majority of gender-inclusive and representative community development councils would likely cease functioning once they no longer had access to internationally funded block grants for community improvement projects. 40. Bruce Hoffman, “Terrorism’s Twelve Step Program,” The National Interest, 13 January 2009. Available at http://tniprod.nationalinterest.org/Article.aspx?id=20592 41. Steven A. Zyck, Beyond Livelihoods: Emotion and Fragmentation in the Reintegration of Afghanistan’s Combatants (York, UK: Post-War Reconstruction and Development Unit, 2006).

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42. The relationship between material or economic hardship and conflict reversion or combatant remobilization—although not the initial outbreak of conflict—reflects and confirms Walter’s empirical findings that “Citizens whose quality of life remains at a critically low level . . . should be much more likely to re-enlist in a rebel organization than those citizens whose welfare has improved.” See, Barbara F. Walter, “Does Conflict Beget Conflict? Explaining Recurring Civil War,” Journal of Peace Research 41(3) (2004), p. 385. 43. Steven A. Zyck, “Former Combatant Reintegration and Fragmentation in Afghanistan,” Conflict, Security & Development 9(1) (April 2009), pp. 111–131. 44. Barakat et al., Understanding Afghanistan. 45. Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Annual Threat Assessment. 46. Neumann, “Policy Review,” p. 1. 47. Adam Roberts, “Doctrine and Reality in Afghanistan,” Survival 51(1) (February–March 2009), pp. 29–60. 48. Mark Hosenball, “More Forces for Afghanistan: Obama will Send 17,000 U.S. Troops,” Newsweek, 17 February 2009. Available at http://www.newsweek.com/id/185217?from=rss 49. Roberts, “Doctrine and Reality,” pp. 54–55. 50. The use of public diplomacy as a means of marginalizing the insurgency forms one of the key “strands” of the United Kingdom’s recently released strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. See UK Policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan. 51. Jerome Starkey, “Tribal Chiefs Offered UK ‘Bribes’ to Fight Taliban,” The Independent, 26 November 2008. Available at http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/tribal-chiefs-offereduk-bribes-to-fight-taliban-1035178.html 52. “Self-Defence: A Victory of Hope over Experience?” The Economist, 8 April 2009. Available at http://www.economist.com/world/asia/displaystory.cfm?story id=13446886 53. Tom Coghlan, “US Pins its Hopes on ‘Dad’s Army’ to Turn Tide in Fight for Local Loyalties,” The Times, 27 April 2009. Available at http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/ news/world/asia/article6175614.ece 54. “The Poppy Trade,” p. 30. While saffron has frequently been cited as a high-value replacement for opium poppies, international experience has shown that non-consumable crops (or those that do not contribute to basic foodstuffs) may place a country or region at risk of food insecurity. 55. Amin Saikal, “What Future for Afghanistan?” Survival 51(1) (February–March 2009), p. 90. 56. Sultan Barakat, Understanding Afghanistan: Synthesis Report (London: Department for International Development, 2008), p. 54. 57. “Afghanistan: Talking to the Taliban,” The Economist, 2 October 2008. Available at http://www.economist.com/world/asia/displayStory.cfm?story id=12341707 58. Stanekzai, Thwarting Afghanistan’s Insurgency, pp. 5–6. 59. “Afghanistan: Talking to the Taliban,” The Economist. 60. “America and Afghanistan: Changing the Guard in Kabul?” The Economist; Dexter Filkins, “Leader of Afghanistan Finds Himself Hero No More,” The New York Times, 8 February 2009. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/08/world/asia/ 08karzai.html?scp=1&sq=%22leader%20of%20afghanistan%20finds%20himself%22&st=cse 61. “Afghanistan: The Next Surge,” The Economist, 18 December 2008. Available at http://www.economist.com/world/asia/displayStory.cfm?story id=12818176 62. Jane Perlez, “Pakistan Makes a Taliban Truce, Creating a Haven,” The New York Times, 16 February 2009. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/17/world/asia/17pstan.html 63. Islambard Wilkinson, “Pakistan Peace Deal with Taliban is ‘Dissolved,’“ The Telegraph, 4 May 2009. Available at http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/ pakistan/5272081/Pakistan-peace-deal-with-Taliban-is-dissolved.html 64. Brian Katulis, “More Money and Counterinsurgency Training Alone Aren’t the Answer in Pakistan,” Center for American Progress, 1 May 2009. Available at http://www.americanprogress. org/issues/2009/05/gates pakistan.html 65. Jean-Christophe Peuch, “Terror Ties: Turkey and Pakistan Join Forces,” Asia Times, 22 January 2004. Available at http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South Asia/FA22Df06.html

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66. Caroline A. Hartzell and Matthew Hoddie, Crafting Peace: Power-Sharing Institutions and the Negotiated Settlement of Civil Wars (University Park: Penn State University Press, 2007), p. 56. The first condition, that protracted conflicts are more likely to lead to a negotiated settlement, has also been found by Patrick Regan and Allan Stam, “In the Nick of Time,” International Studies Quarterly 44(2) (2000), pp. 239–260, and by J. Michael Greig, “Moments of Opportunity: Recognizing Conditions of Ripeness for International Mediation between Enduring Rivals,” Journal of Conflict Resolution 45(6) (2001), pp. 691–718. 67. Patrick E. Tyler, “Powell Says Muslim Nations Should Be Peacekeepers in Kabul; 3 Offer Troops,” The New York Times, 13 November 2001. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/2001/ 11/13/world/nation-challenged-future-powell-says-muslim-nations-should-be-peacekeeperskabul.html 68. J. Michael Greig and Patrick M. Regan, “When Do They Say Yes? An Analysis of the Willingness to Offer and Accept Mediation in Civil Wars,” International Studies Quarterly 52 (2008), p. 778. See also, Andrew Kydd, “Which Side Are You On? Bias, Credibility and Mediation,” American Journal of Political Science 47(4) (2003), pp. 597–611. 69. Saadia Touval, “Biased Intermediaries: Theoretcial and Historical Considerations,” Jerusalem Journal of International Relations 1(1) (1975), pp. 51–69. 70. A substantial body of literature has been tied to the relative importance of consolidating or splintering opposition groups. While Johnston argues that co-opting individual groups helps to weaken the opponent, Wallensteen and others have highlighted the potential for splinter groups to either undermine ongoing negotiations or to demand separate negotiations on new terms. For instance, a reconciled Hizb-e Islami may demand a certain number of coveted political positions and livelihood assistance for its demobilized fighters; subsequent negotiations with the Taliban, which may receive greater benefits from a political settlement, may then lead Hizb-e Islami to scrap its agreement and seek greater gains from peace. See Patrick Johnston, “Negotiated Settlements and Government Strategy in Civil War: Evidence from Darfur,” Civil Wars 9(4) (December 2007), pp. 359–377 and Peter Wallensteen, Understanding Conflict Resolution, Second Edition (London: Sage, 2007). 71. Cited in Stanekzai, Thwarting Afghanistan’s Insurgency, pp. 9–10. 72. Stanekzai, Thwarting Afghanistan’s Insurgency, pp. 12–16. 73. Ibid., 10. 74. Barnett R. Rubin, “End the War on Terror,” Survival 51(1) (February–March 2009), p. 86. 75. Associated Press, “U.S. Could Accept Afghan-Taliban Truce,” CBS News, 20 February 2009. Available at http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/02/20/world/main4816655.shtml 76. Helene Cooper and Sheryl Gay Stolberg, “Obama Ponders Outreach to Elements of Taliban,” The New York Times, 8 March 2009. Available at http://www.nytimes.com/ 2009/03/08/us/politics/08obama.html?scp=1&sq=%22obama%20ponders%20outreach%22&st=cse 77. Ann Scott Tyson, “Commander in Afghanistan Wants More Troops,” The Washington Post, 2 October 2008, p. A19. 78. Neumann, “Policy Review,” p. 2.

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