Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Future of Afghanistan, J Alexander Thier ed., US Institute of Peace, January 8, 2009.

Afghanistan sits at the intersection of an array of conflicts, including the War on Terror; the India-Pakistan rivalry; Afghanistan and Pakistan; the Sunni-Shia conflict; complex U.S. relations with NATO allies; Russia's relations with the U.S. and NATO; and the U.S.-Iran feud. This new book from USIP identifies weaknesses of early approaches and outlines a vision for success going forward. It brings together leading thinkers and policymakers in a new collection of ten essays, the culmination of the USIP-sponsored Future of Afghanistan project. It also explores how Afghans and international stakeholders can face with these and related challenges over a ten-year horizon.

The Future of Afghanistan Project was launched in 2008 by the United States Institute of Peace in response to the need for a unified, strategic, long-term vision for Afghanistan. More than seven years into the international intervention in Afghanistan, there is a sense of backsliding and a loss of focus. Most assessments and prescriptions focus on the near term, analyzing what is happening now and what must happen over the next twelve to eighteen months to "turn things around." At the same time, most commentators note that there is a broad lack of unified strategic vision between and among the Afghan government and their partners in the international community.

US policy toward Afghanistan will require a fundamental change in order to achieve long-term stability in that country, according to The Future of Afghanistan, a new U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) collection of essays written by some of the world's top South Asia analysts. "A focused, coherent, and long-term approach to Afghan and regional stability is necessary to get Afghanistan out of its vicious cycle of insecurity, insurgency, impunity, and corruption" says the Institute's J Alexander Thier, who edited the volume.

The whole press release and link to PDF of the book is here =>
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