Peace, security, and stability continue to evade Afghanistan despite the presence of over 100,000 foreign troops and a burgeoning Afghan national army and police force. In addition, even though the country has received billions in aid and assistance, its social, economic, and political systems remain in a dire state, with Afghans themselves showing little faith in the reconstruction efforts.
The U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, supported by the international community, had two aims. The first was to capture or kill Usama bin Ladin along with senior al-Qa’ida and Taliban members. The second aim was to end Afghanistan’s incessant instability through “peacebuilding.”
The strategy initially seemed to work as senior Taliban and al-Qa’ida activists escaped the onslaught of Operation Enduring Freedom by going to Pakistan and other locations or surrendering to coalition forces, thereby creating the notion that the strategy was correct and appropriate. The “peacebuilding” effort also appeared to be on track; following international meetings in Bonn (2001) and Tokyo (2002), an Afghan Interim Administration was established. The process toward rebuilding Afghanistan also appeared to be moving forward, with preparation for elections and the adoption of an Afghan constitution.
However, the optimism was masked by the fact that things were slowly unraveling, as disparity between the mission’s goals and what was possible became clearer. Professor Anatol Lieven, Chair of International Relations and Terrorism Studies in the War Studies Department, King’s College, London and a Senior Fellow of the New America Foundation, writing in 2007, pointed out that the efforts in Afghanistan were never likely to succeed because the strategies pursued by the international community were incompatible. Lieven identified five strategies the international community was seeking:
1. Victory in the war against the Taliban.
2. The transformation of Afghanistan into an effective and democratic state.
3. Eliminating or undermining Afghanistan’s ability to serve as terrorist base.
4. Reducing Afghanistan’s position as the world’s leading opium provider.
5. Preserving NATO as a meaningful international military organization.
In 2010, there appears to be no end to the conflict in Afghanistan. So great is the frustration that several contributing countries have called for a strategy that includes such ideas as speaking with “Moderate Taliban” or withdrawal. Bernard Kouchner, the French foreign secretary declared, “The solution to a war is always to talk to your enemies, unless one party triumphs.” Kouchner and others stress that the Afghan Taliban is a heterogeneous force, raising the prospect that one could persuade some Taliban to switch allegiance, with Islamism giving way to post-Islamism.
Linked to the desire to speak with “Moderate Taliban” is the growing unpopularity of the Afghan War among the contributing countries and the belief that the war itself is “unwinnable.” These changes compelled General David Petraeus, commander of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and U.S. Force Commander (USFOR-A) to engage in a “media blitz” to persuade Americans–as the largest contributors to the operation–not to abandon Afghanistan so that it would not revert to being the terrorist sanctuary that it was under the Taliban.
Although this is a laudable consideration, it fails to reflect a number of realities: First, Islamist terrorists no longer need Afghanistan, as there are many other locations that they can use for their campaign, starting with the Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province located next to Afghanistan; Islamist terrorists also have Somalia in the Horn of Africa and Yemen in the Arabian Peninsula. In other words, there are plenty of “ungoverned territories” providing Islamist terrorists with places from which they can launch attacks against the West.
Third, it is doubtful as to whether the international community can salvage the situation in Afghanistan with the tools at its disposal: continuous reliance on Hamid Karzai, a commitment to fight the insurgency within the parameters of the Laws of Armed Conflict, as well as a policy of reconstruction that centers on show rather than functionality–as was shown with the September 2008 British operation to transport 220 tons of equipment to the Kajaki dam, Helmand Province, which created much fanfare but has limited value.
Ultimately, these issues require a look at the way the international community has and is approaching the peacebuilding aspect of the operation in Afghanistan. To that end, the analysis opens with the UN approach to “peacebuilding” even though the UN has a minimal role in Afghanistan. The UN Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) is quintessentially a political mission, though Security Council Resolution 1401 (2002) made UNAMA the focal point for international assistance to Afghanistan in the post-Bonn period. The UN’s importance was emphasized by the role played by Lakhdar Brahimi, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan at the time of the U.S.-led invasion. Brahimi was a major actor in the Bonn talks that shaped post-Taliban Afghanistan. In addition, the UN model for peacebuilding can be helpful, as the UN is a leader in the field.
The second section reviews some of the key issues affecting Afghanistan to better appreciate the challenge that Afghanistan poses to those wanting to undertake successful peacebuilding. The focus is on three main issues: Afghanistan’s geography and history; its ethnic composition as well as the legacy of the Afghan jihad (1979 to 1988); and the civil war, (1990 to 1998, by which point the Taliban controlled the majority of Afghanistan).
The final two sections explore the “peacebuilding” strategy in Afghanistan to understand why the situation remains so dire in the country before concluding with some general observations as to likelihood of success of the operation.
THE UN’S APPROACH TO PEACEBUILDING
The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 compelled the UN Security Council, no longer trapped by Cold War politics, to request Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali provide it with recommendations as to how to improve and strengthen the UN’s capabilities in preventive diplomacy, peacemaking, and for peacekeeping. The council realized that with the end of the Cold War, the UN could and would assume the role of maintaining international peace and security, which many had hoped for it in 1945. Significantly, despite Cold War politics–which greatly undermined the organization–the UN was the major progenitor of humanitarian assistance (operating under the guise of maintaining international peace and security) through its various peacekeeping operations as devised by Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld and Canada’s Lester B. Pearson.
The Hammarskjöld-Pearson peacekeeping formula was about providing security to facilitate sustainable peace after the signing of a ceasefire or a peace accord, allowing for the promotion of some reconstruction and stability in war-torn societies as a product of the presence of the peacekeepers in the area. The end of the Cold War permitted the organization to move away from this limited type of peacekeeping operations toward “complex peace operations” that embraced humanitarianism and nation-building. In the early 1990s, humanitarianism moved from “the impartial relief to victims of manmade and natural disasters…” (what it did during the Cold War) to covering such things as the promotion and protection of human rights, access to medicine, economic development, democracy promotion, as well as state-building.
The shift in “peacekeeping” was captured in Boutros-Ghali’s An Agenda for Peace, which stood for a more expansive, interventionist UN policy. An Agenda for Peace also looked at the challenge of “post-conflict peace-building,” understood as the way to prevent renewed conflict after peace agreements, ceasefire agreements, or cessation of violence. Boutros-Ghali and others saw “post-conflict peacebuilding” as integral in achieving one of the fundamental aims of the UN: saving succeeding generations from the scourge of war, because certain conflicts if not resolved tend to continue and become wider threats to international peace and security. Thus, under the new paradigm, the UN would galvanize the international community to “fix” states engaged in conflict.
The 1990s was the era of intervention for the UN. It believed that a strong financial and personnel commitment made possible state reconstruction and nation-building, which would lead to sustainable peace, which in turn would enhance international peace and security. By the end of the decade, however, serious questions emerged regarding the approach since many of the operations had “failed.” Extensive reform in UN peacekeeping led to a reduction in operations, although it did not reduce the international community’s enthusiasm toward promoting “positive peace”–eliminating the root causes of conflict as actors in a conflict use other tools (non-violent) to resolve their differences.Thus, ironically, although the international community reduced its multilateral interventions, its commitment to active intervention and the need to reduce conflict remained. The issue of intervention and the search for peace gained importance following September 11, intensifying the debate regarding the circumstances under which military intervention was legal and moral.
Afghanistan, which is not a UN peace operation, encapsulates many of the issues affecting peacebuilding since one of the mission’s goals is to build Afghanistan into a viable, functioning state. The UN’s Afghan campaign centers on the belief that in order to achieve sustainable peace in Afghanistan, the country has to be rebuilt, not only structurally but socially and culturally, developing a political system that embraces Afghan diversity (positive peace). Such an approach seeks to remove the conditions that had encouraged Afghans to turn to the Taliban–chaos, lawlessness, and human insecurity–following the Soviet withdrawal in 1989 and fall of the Mohammad Najjibullah government in 1992. This is why the UN demanded that the program be Afghan-led. Lakhdar Brahimi, special representative of the secretary-general for Afghanistan argued, “Neither the UN nor anyone else, no matter how sincere, may substitute themselves for the Afghans and solve the problems of Afghanistan for them.” Brahimi added: “If the Afghan authorities and their international partners set realistic objectives; if the international community has the determination and patience to do what it takes to really help the situation; if, at the same time, we have the humility to realize that we are no wiser than Afghans about what is better for Afghanistan, then there is every reason for optimism.”
Afghanistan’s geographical location has made it one of the most important countries in the world, yet its topography has made it one of the hardest to govern. The country’s rough terrain–high mountains, isolating fertile valleys, deserts, and wild rivers—has led to ethnically diverse pockets of population and isolation between groups. In addition to the geography, the harsh climate (brutal winters and very hot summers) requires groups keep within their settlements. This has led to strong internal loyalties within communities, which enables them to withstand these conditions and protects the group from any invaders seeking to take control of the area the group resides in. So limited is access to the outside world, that Nancy Hatch Dupree has argued individuals in Afghanistan live and die in their home valleys, unaware of what is around them. When globalization and modernization came to Afghanistan, they created many problems for a society that fostered traditionalism by challenging the communal codes the society lived under. For example, modernization allowed young men to leave the village to work in the towns, where they could earn more money. Upon their return, their new status undermined the position of the elders.
Linked to Afghanistan’s population and its dispersion are the country’s borders, another core reason for Afghan instability. In the northern part of the country there are Turkic, Tajik, and Uzbek people who have more in common with Central Asia than with their southern brethren. They used to live as part of a single province known as Turkistan, but in 1967, the Afghan government introduced reforms that created smaller provinces (Balkh, Jawzjan, Samangan, and Farya) to weaken the non-Pashtun people. In the West, Afghanistan shares a border with Iran and inhabitants of the area speak the same Farsi dialect as those living in eastern Iran. The Baluchs spread across three states–southern Afghanistan, Iran and Pakistan–while in the east and southeast there is a heavy concentration of Pashtun, although they are far from homogenous, as intra-Pashtun tensions often undermine their cohesion.
Afghanistan has a powerful neighbor, Pakistan, which is responsible for much of the instability. Pakistanis see Afghanistan as offering “strategic depth” against India. Islamabad has always striven to have a pliable or pro-Pakistani government in Kabul, in case India launches an attack against Pakistan. A pro-Islamabad government in Kabul means Pakistan will be able to use Afghanistan to launch a counter-offensive against India. In other words, Pakistan’s surreptitious intercession in Afghanistan stems from a Pakistani sense of insecurity that comes from the nature of the Pakistani state, which sees India as the biggest threat to its survival.
Since 2001, Pakistan has come under tremendous scrutiny regarding its involvement in Afghanistan, including its role in establishing and sponsoring the Taliban and other militant Islamists in Afghanistan. Yet this has not stopped Pakistani meddling in Afghan affairs, because it is seen as vital to Pakistan’s survival, raising the question as to whether Pakistan would it stop meddling in Afghan affairs if it were no longer feared. The second issue facilitating and provoking Pakistani intervention in Afghan affairs stems from the Durand Line, the controversial border drawn in the 1890s between the two countries (at the time it divided Afghanistan and British India), splitting the Pashtuns of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Afghans historically have sought to have the border renegotiated.
The large Afghan refugee community in Pakistan has added to tension between the two countries, as problems for Pakistan include the establishment of illegal settlements (katchi abadis) on state land and tensions with the indigenous population since refugees are willing to work for less. The presence of a large Pashtun (Pakistani-born) community that continues to demand a Pashtun state has created concern for Pakistani policymakers, because there is a large community within Pakistan whose allegiances lie with a foreign body or with an idea that will break up Pakistan.
Fear of secession is very real for Pakistan, itself the product of the 1947 secession from India and the defection of the country’s eastern section in 1971 to become Bangladesh. The Pakistani leader Zia al-Haq was interested in linking Pashtuns on both sides of the 2,400 kilometer-long Afghan-Pakistan border into a Pakistani-controlled area. Zia’s Islamist orientation encouraged the Islamization of the Pashtun tribes challenging traditional leaders. As young men fighting the Soviets became powerful, they undermined the elders and advocated a more dogmatic form of Wahhabi or Deobandi Islam. This did not challenge Pashtun identity, which has remained an important force in Afghan politics, but created new tensions and gulfs within a society where it does not take much to cause a conflict.
Afghanistan has major ethnic and religious cleavages undermining unity and Afghan nationalism, leading the noted British academic Anthony Hyman to declare, “The Afghans are neither one people nor one political community, while the state itself is broken-backed and the country divided between two rival governments: a Taliban-ruled state competes for control of northern regions under mutually rival warlords. Ethnic, tribal, and sectarian divisions have worsened and further fragmented the country.” This state of affairs is a result of the way Ahmed Shah Durrani created the Afghan “state” through conquest and guile. However, incessant intra-dynastic feuds coupled with the rise of Sikh power under Ranjit Sikh–not to mention British penetration into the subcontinent leading to the “Great Game”–left Afghanistan even more divided and perpetually weak as Britain and Russia courted Afghan leaders and provided them with stipends. This did not encourage Afghan leaders to develop a viable, legitimate Afghan state that could survive on its own, as they opted to use the money to fight off challengers, buy challengers off, or simply live a life of luxury. When Afghanistan became independent in 1921, the “Great Game” legacy remained as Afghan leaders continued to rely on either Britain or the Soviet Union to survive–seen with the treaty Afghanistan signed with the British following the end of the Third Afghan War (1919) and the 1921 Treaty of Friendship with the Soviet Union.The internal tensions that had existed in Afghanistan throughout the twentieth century were exacerbated by the Afghan jihad, as the mujahidin were divided along ethnic lines, which meant that the factions often fought one another and not only the Soviets and the Afghan communist government.
Today, the Pashtuns dominate Afghanistan making up around 40 percent of the population. The other key ethnic groups in Afghanistan are the Tajiks, Hazaras, and the Uzbeks. Pashtun dominance is such that even the names of the Afghan parliament are Pashtu–Wolesi Jirga (Council of the People) and Meshrano Jirga (Council of the Elders). However, the Pashtun are heterogeneous, with long historical roots (Herodotus refers to them as Partika). Their lives are governed by Pashtunwalli, laws that emphasize honor (nang) and revenge (badal) on anything perceived by an individual to challenge his honor. Linked to the Pashtunwalli is the Pashtun commitment to self-rule, heightened by their warrior-like nature that craves independence, for which they are willing to fight and die if necessary.
In addition to Pashtunwalli, what makes the modern Pashtun such a potent force is Islam, with many adopting dogmatic and uncompromising views coupled with a desire to attain martyrdom raising their fighting potential. Pashtun trace their adoption of Islam to Qais bin Rashid of Ghor, who they claim was converted to Islam by the prophet himself. Yet historically while the Pashtuns were conservative Muslims, they were not dogmatic nor did they practice Deobandi or Whabbi Islam. Donald Wilber, an experienced traveler in Muslim states, upon visiting Afghanistan in the early 1950s, noted:
“Prayer is an important feature of daily life. Buses and trucks halt along the road at times of prayer; and the sunset prayer, when all the passengers align themselves in rows…. The manufacture, sale, and use of alcohol are forbidden: violators are severely punished by law, and in a country famed for its countless varieties of grapes no wine is made.”
The importance of Islam in Afghan society has arguably increased because as the state fails to provide basic security, Afghans turn to Islamic practices such as zakat (alms giving) and the qadis (judges) as solutions to their hard existence. Put simply, the Islamization of Afghanistan has made an already conservative Muslim population far more resistant to change and foreign ideas, especially when these ideas are seen as corrupting (fasid). This attitude explains opposition to some of the changes demanded by the international community though that basic attitude is not in itself new.
Afghan’s peace process began with the Bonn Agreement (Agreement on Provisional Arrangements in Afghanistan Pending the Re-establishment of Permanent Government Institutions), signed on December 5, 2001, and ended on December 19, 2005, following the election of a new Afghan National Assembly. Significantly, Bonn was not a peace accord but rather an outline of how Afghanistan was going to move forward following two decades of war (Afghan jihad and the civil war of the 1990s). Thus, Bonn called for the formation of an Afghan Interim Authority (AIA) mandated to govern Afghanistan for up to six months. After this phase, Afghans established a Transitional Authority, led by Hamid Karzai, with a two-year mandate. Following this period, presidential elections were held in which Karzai won.
Two elements lie at the heart of the Bonn Agreement. First, was a desire by the international community to correct the notion that it had abandoned Afghanistan in 1989 following the Soviet withdrawal. Afghans felt abandoned after they had sacrificed themselves (over a million Afghans died between 1979 and 1988) to defeat the Soviet Union. The international community held that its own neglect of Afghanistan, in failing to help reconstruction, led to the country’s descent into civil war followed by the Taliban’s rise and its help to al-Qa’ida.
The second factor that emerged was to make the peacebuilding operation, whether military or civilian, as much of an Afghan one as possible. This was out of an appreciation that Afghans do not like to be told what to do combined with the lesson of previous peacekeeping operations excessively driven by external actors. Consequently, Bonn was a quasi-hybrid peacebuilding operation with Afghans and the international community supposedly working in partnership, with the UN serving as the bridge between the two.
The ideas encapsulated in the Bonn Agreement remained consistent in focusing on security sector reform, reconstruction, and reconciliation. Security sector reform has five pillars: building up the Afghan Army (with the United States taking the lead); building up the Afghan National Police (with Germany taking the lead); judicial reform (Italy as the lead nation); counter-narcotic operations (UK as lead nation); and, Demobilization, Disarmament, and Reintegration (Japan as the lead nation).
The emphasis on security led to the creation of an international security force, ISAF. ISAF is a product of a decade-long experience by the international community with complex peace operations, which is why the Security Council decided to separate the civilian and military missions, as it realized that security needed its own focus. Consequently, instead of being a UN peacekeeping or peace-enforcing force, ISAF became a “coalition of the willing.” This means that nations contribute to the establishment of international force, but not under direct UN supervision, thus making it dependent on voluntary contributions. ISAF encountered many challenges, mainly because it initially focused on Kabul and ensuring that the capital was secure rather than the countryside. ISAF’s mission and goal were contradictory, as it had to provide “a secure environment” to allow the Afghan Interim Authority and UN personnel to operate. However, the Bonn program also entrusted primary responsibility for security and law and order with the Afghans, even though the Afghans were far from ready to assume such responsibility. This meant that ISAF had to operate in a way so as to undermine the efforts of the Afghans.
A second goal of Bonn was promoting economic reconstruction, a core feature in any UN operation in the post-Cold War period. The “liberal peace” requires considerable institutional reform to make the state responsive to the demands and needs of citizens: basic security. Brahimi claimed that “economic progress will help legitimize and strengthen new government institutions, and build incentives for rural Afghanistan to link with the center and remain involved in the peace process.”
Afghanistan historically has not had a viable economy due to lack of investment, conflict, and the dominance of opium trade. This has meant that Afghans have never really received basic security from their state and government, which was often the instrument of their oppression. Consequently, Afghans are very suspicious of the state and government and especially of Kabul, the seat of power.
To help promote reconstruction, the ISAF developed Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs). These ISAF-led programs sought to coordinate and help the government in the provinces. The first PRT was established in Gardez in December 2002, and since they have spread throughout Afghanistan. Generally speaking, a PRT includes soldiers, diplomats, and civilian experts. The reality, however, has been very different mainly because of the nature and structure of the PRTs. By 2003, the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan moved away from the “light footprint approach” and more toward a typical counter-insurgency (COIN) strategy based on establishing security to permit reconstruction. Theoretically, the approach has solid foundations, but when applied to Afghanistan, questions rise because of the nature of Afghan society (clanism and warlordism) and history. The international community, affected by the interventionist disasters of the 1990s, sought to have Afghans at the heart of the reconstruction process. Ironically, the process that began in Bonn in 2001 achieved the opposite in that, despite the huge investment, Afghanistan has made no real progress in terms of peace and security.
A third issue associated with post-Cold War peacebuilding is reconciliation (or transitional justice). As with the adoption of the Paris Principles in the early 1990s and the “Responsibility to Protect” Doctrine in 2005 by the World Summit, the international community’s position has been that building peace demands reconciliation. Since Bonn, there has been a focus on human rights and the need to ensure that Afghanistan complies with various international human rights mechanisms.
In 2005, the Afghanistan National Independent and Reconciliation Commission (known through its Dari abbreviation, PTS) was launched. Its chairman was Sibghatullah Mojaddedi and its aim was to integrate former fighters into Afghan society. The commission provides certificates to former fighters who joined its program, which ensures that they will not face prosecution for any acts committed in the pre-September 11 period. Ahmad Nader Nadery, commissioner on transitional justice with the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights group, has argued that the international community’s approach to transitional justice in Afghanistan was not discussed at Bonn, but was instead led by the special representative of the secretary-general, Lakhdar Brahimi who focused on political stabilization as the root for judicial reform (i.e. “peace first, justice later”).
This approach helped to undermine the peacebuilding program in Afghanistan, since a number of those who had committed egregious human rights violations in the past–whether during the Afghan jihad, civil war period, or Taliban era–could not be prosecuted. Antonio Donini, former director of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and Deputy UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Afghanistan (1999-2002), argues that UNAMA was designed to maneuver between demands that the UN and international community support the Afghan government and ensuring that nothing derails the peace process. This means that human rights concerns must take a subsidiary role as they may undermine the UN’s two-pillar approach.
In many respects, peacebuilding in Afghanistan is a doomed project. Although there has been some substantive change in the infrastructure–in the political (election of parliament, adoption of a constitution) or social and economic sphere (building schools, hospitals, sewage as well road construction and electricity), the reality remains that despite billions of dollars in assistance and an escalating international presence, security continues to elude Afghanistan. In 2010, the Afghan government is unable to exercise power in about two-thirds of the country; the Afghan army and police are heavily dependent on coalition forces; corruption pervades all aspects of Afghan society; and opium production, which appears on the wane in 2010, is still a major cash-crop for Afghans.
A core problem with the peacebuilding operation in the Afghanistan is that Afghan leadership, which speaks to two different audiences–domestic and foreign–severely impedes the peacebuilding process. For example, Hamid Karzai appears to supports a Western interpretation of human rights as well as gender equality. However, to obtain needed votes, Karzai, despite Western protests, adopted the Shi’a Family Law that seemed to make Hazara women the property of their husbands. Afghan leaders have always had to compromise and make deals in order to survive.
Incidents of corruption such as the 2009 presidential election or the scandal surrounding the Kabul Bank make it difficult to determine what Afghan leaders stand for besides protecting their own interests. This makes it hard for the international community to devise a strategy for reconstruction, especially when it has pinned hopes on the current leadership, which not only fails to deliver, but arguably benefits by Afghanistan’s lack of progress since that guarantees the international presents and aid. The leadership is untrustworthy, fickle, and divisive. Put simply, Hamid Karzai may have been the best choice in 2001, but in 2010 he clearly is the problem. He refuses to implement reform and lead by example; if anything he is guilty of doing the opposite.
Second, it is clear that the Afghan political system developed by the Bonn Process is corrupt and inept. In August 2010, Hamid Karzai fired Fazel Ahmed Faqiryar as deputy attorney-general apparently because he was looking into the activities of Mohammed Zia Salehi, head of the Afghan National Security Council, which meant he was untouchable. Moreover, dissonance between the center and periphery makes any attempt at meaningful reform next to impossible. Those living in the countryside (the majority) reject the Kabul government, which they see as corrupt, inept, and Western-dominated. This is why the insurgency is more than simply Taliban-led but a reaction to the ineffectiveness of the central government. Ultimately, conditions, including the level of insurgency, vary among provinces. Thus, the ISAF has sought to change its tactics. One way to deal with the insurgency is to devolve power, not only to the provinces but also sub-province level.
Third, as most commentators agree, economic poverty and poor social conditions are a root cause of the Afghan insurgency. Due to the high-level of corruption, Afghans often do not receive the international aid that has been allocated to them. This is exacerbated by the lack of security, which also prevents aid from being fully distributed in locations where the insurgency is raging. Moreover, if aid is delivered, insurgents often seize or destroy it. Ordinary Afghans may appreciate the challenge of distributing aid, but ultimately their view is that ISAF and USFOR-A, as well as the hundreds of NGOs, have been in the country for almost a decade and their conditions have not improved. Thus, they are weary of the intervention.
Real reconstruction in Afghanistan requires a debate regarding Pakistan’s role and a vital conduit for the development of an Afghan economy. Pakistan must change some of its policies to ensure effective reconstruction in Afghanistan, as Afghan dependency on Pakistan stems from its geography—it is landlocked. This will also benefit Pakistan, as the two are interlinked in that when a problem affects one country it impacts the other. For example, in the 1950s, when there were tensions between Pakistan and Afghanistan over the Durand Line, Pakistan simply closed the border. This had a huge impact on the Afghan economy. This situation is true today as much as it was in the 1950s, as seen for example when NATO conveys are attacked in Pakistan thus affecting the campaign in Afghanistan. Thus, the Afghan-Pakistan trade Agreement of June 2010 was a positive development, but as long as Afghanistan lacks basic infrastructure, the benefits of the agreement will not be felt by many Afghans. It also discourages the millions of Afghan refugees living in Pakistan from returning, as they would rather live in the squalor of Peshawar or Karachi than the insecurity of Helmand or Kandahar.
The final issue affecting the peacebuilding effort in Afghanistan from the domestic perspective is human rights. In 2010, Afghanistan’s human rights record remains one of the world’s worst. Many officials have participated in gross human rights violations. While it is unlikely and unrealistic for Afghanistan to place all those individuals on trial, the violations need to be addressed. The international community excuses such violations despite the talk of a need for protecting and developing universal human rights norms.
On the international front, the peacebuilding process has been undermined by many shortcomings. The ISAF is trying to do too much and faces conflicting tasks. Consequently, security conditions have deteriorated while coalition troops seem to suffer from low morale. Afghan support or the effort has also declined. Whereas in 2001, coalition forces were liberators, increasingly they are seen as occupiers to Afghans who want to evict them, as happened with the Soviets and the British.
Ultimately, the approach of the international community has suffered from typical post-Cold War “liberal peace” arrogance, misunderstanding, lack of an appreciation of the challenge, and poor allocation of resources. Unless this is remedied, the program will continue to provide very little return on investment and reason to hope for an improved situation in Afghanistan.
 A recent operation in Mehlajat, Kandahar Province was unique in that it was Afghan-led and involved 1,700 soldiers and police officers. It is unclear how successful the operation was in terms of permanently evicting the Taliban from Mehlajat, but it was seen as a success because it was Afghan-planned and led. Taimoor Shah and Rod Nordland, “Near Kandahar, the Prize is an Empty Town,” The New York Times, September 2, 2010. Conversely, the 2010 elections had been marred by violence undermining the belief that the Afghan security services can provide security to the inhabitants. Elizabeth Bumiller and Rod Nordland, “Afghan Vote Marked by Light Turnout and Violence,” The New York Times, September 19, 2010; Jon Boone, “Violence and Corruption Still Dog Afghan Elections,” The Guardian, September 19, 2010.
 Life expectancy stands at around 40; the infant mortality rate (for children under five years of age) is 191 per 1,000 live births; adult literacy is at 29 percent. Kenneth Katzman, “Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy,” Congressional Research Service, July 21, 2010, [RL30588].
 Bumiller and Nordland, “Afghan Vote Marked by Light Turnout and Violence”; Boone, “Violence and Corruption Still Dog Afghan Elections.”
 A day after the September 11 attacks, the NATO members invoked Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty (Washington Treaty) declaring that the attacks against the United States were attacks against the Alliance. This paved the way for NATO in 2003 to assume control of the International Security Assistance Force. Another example of international support was Security Council Resolution 1368 (2001), which declares that the Council is ready “to take all necessary steps to respond to the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, and combat all forms of terrorism, in accordance with its responsibilities under the Charter of the United Nations.” See also, Adam Roberts, “Counter-terrorism, Armed Force and the Laws of War,” Survival, Vol. 44, No. 1 (2002), pp. 7-32.
 Simon Chesterman, “Walking Softly in Afghanistan: the Future of UN State-Building,” Survival, Vol. 44, No. 3 (2002), pp. 37-45.
 Abdul Saleem Zaeef with Alex Strick van Linschoten and Felix Kuehn, My Life with the Taliban (New York: Columbia University Press, 2010). Abdul Saleem Zaeef was the Taliban’s ambassador to Pakistan. Following the U.S.-led invasion Zaeef was detained in Pakistan after which he was transferred to Guantanamo Bay as an “unlawful combat”.
 Najibullah Lafraie, “The Afghanistan Peace Process: Progress and Problems,” in Elizabeth Van Wie Davis and Rouben Azizian (ed.), Islam, Oil, and Geopolitics (New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2007), pp. 29-43; Gary Berntsen and Ralph Pezzullo, Jawbreaker, The Attack on bin Laden and Al-Qaeda: A Personal Account by the CIA’s Key Field Officer (New York: Three Rivers Press, 2005); George Tenet, At the Center of the Storm: The CIA during America’s Time of Crisis (New York: Harper Perennial, 2008); Robin Moore, The Hunt for Bin Laden: Task Force Dagger (New York: Random House, 2003).
 Anatol Lieven, “Afghanistan: An Unsuitable Candidate for State Building,” Conflict, Security & Development, Vol. 7, No. 3 (October 2007), pp. 483-84 (quote from p. 484). H.R. McMaster, a U.S. Army General and former Senior Researcher at the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) argues that the international “coalition” is engaged in “…protracted counter-insurgency and state-building efforts that require population security, security-sector reform, reconstruction and economic development, development of governmental capacity, and the establishment of rule of law.” H.R. McMaster, “On War: Lessons to be Learned,” Survival, Vol. 50, No. 1 (2008), pp. 24-25.
 Ghaith Abdul-Ahad, “Inside the Taliban: ‘The More Troops They Send, the More Targets We Have’,” The Guardian, August 15, 2009.
 In February 2010, the government of Jan-Peter Balkenende collapsed, as its coalition partners refused to support the continuation of the Dutch presence in Afghanistan. Nicholas Kulish, “Dutch Government Collapses Over Its Stance on Troops for Afghanistan,” The New York Times, February 21, 2010. Prime Minister David Cameron said in the G-8 Meeting in Toronto that British forces cannot remain in Afghanistan until 2015, which built on what Cameron had said during the election campaign. Patrick Wintour, “Afghanistan Withdrawal Before 2015, Says David Cameron,” The Guardian, June 26, 2010.
 Julian Borger and Ian Black, “UN-Taliban Peace Talks Spur Karzai to Action,” The Guardian, January 28, 2010.
 Alissa J. Rubin, “Taliban Overhaul Image to Win allies,” The New York Times, January 21, 2010. Afghan military leaders (mujahidin/warlords) have been known to change sides when the tide turns against them. Noted examples are Abdul Rashid Dostum, who fought with and then against Ahmad Shah Massoud, and Abdul Ali Mazari, who fought against and with Gulbuddin Hekmatyar. There are also examples of Taliban leaders that have become important figures in post-September 11 Afghanistan: Abdul Salam Rocketi, once the Taliban corps commander in Jalalabad, is a member of parliament; Arsala Rahmani, a deputy minister under the Taliban, is serving as a senator. Fotini Christia and Michael Semple, “Flipping the Taliban: How to Win in Afghanistan,” Foreign Affairs, Vol. 88, No. 4 (July-August 2009), pp. 36-37.
 Asef Bayat defined post-Islamism as “…an effort to fuse religiosity and rights, faith and freedom, Islam and liberty. It seeks to turn the underlying principles of Islamism on their head by emphasizing rights instead of duties, plurality in place of singular authoritative voice, historicity rather than fixed scripture, Islam with individual choice and freedom, democracy, and modernity (which post-Islamists stress) to achieve what some call an alternative modernity.” Asef Bayat, “No Silence, No Violence: A Post-Islamist Trajectory,” in Maria J. Stephan (ed.), Civilian Jihad: Nonviolent Struggle, Democratization, and Governance in the Middle East (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009), p. 44.
 David W. Sanger, “Afghan Deadline Is Cutting Two Ways,” The New York Times, July 22, 2010; Peter Beaumont, “Afghanistan: the US and UK Exist Strategy Under way, but It Cannot Be Allowed to Look Like a Failure” The Observer, July 25, 2010.
 Dexter Filkins, “Petraeus Opposes a Rapid Pullout in Afghanistan,” The New York Times, August 16, 2010.
 Aidan Hartley, “Tea with a Terrorist,” The New York Times, July 25, 2010; Andrea Elliott, “The Jihadist Next Door,” The New York Times, January 31, 2010.
 See the 2007 study by the Rand Corporation on “Ungoverned Territories.” Angle Rabasa et. al., Ungoverned Territories: Understanding and Reducing Terrorism Risks (Santa Monica: Rand Corporation, 2007); Eric Schmitt and Scott Shane, “Aid to Counter Al Qaeda in Yemen Divides U.S. Officials,” The New York Times, September 16, 2010.
 Richard Norton-Taylor, “Al-Qaida and Taliban Threat Is Exaggerated, Says Security Thinktank,” Guardian.co.uk, September 7, 2010. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/sep/07/al-qaida-taliban-threat-afghanistan.
 See for example, Barbara Franz, “Europe’s Muslim Youth: An Inquiry into the Politics of Discrimination, Relative Deprivation, and Identity Formation,” Mediterranean Quarterly, Vol. 18, No. 1 (Winter 2007), pp. 89-112; Petter Nesser, “How Did Europe’s Global Jihadis Obtain Training for their Militant Causes?” Terrorism and Political Violence, Vol. 20, No. 2 (April 2008), pp. 234-56. In a revealing piece on Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square bomber, Lorraine Adams and Ayesha Nasir argue that it was U.S. foreign policy and especially the drone policy that helped turned a naturalized U.S. citizen into a member of the Pakistani Taliban. Lorraine Adams and Ayesha Nasir, “Inside the Mind of the Times Square Bomber,” The Guardian, September 19, 2010.
 Jon Boone, “Taliban Stalls Key Hydroelectric Turbine Project in Afghanistan,” The Guardian, December 14, 2009; Mark Mazzetti and Rod Nordland, “U.S. Debates Karzai’s Place in Fighting Corruption,” The New York Times, September 15, 2010.
 The Resolution “Calls upon all Afghan parties to cooperate with UNAMA in the implementation of its mandate and to ensure the security and freedom of movement of its staff throughout the country.” In respect to the International Security Assistance Force, the Council requested that ISAF will “…continue to work in close consultation with the Secretary-General and his Special Representative.” See Security Council Resolution 1401, March 28, 2002.
 Chesterman, “Walking Softly in Afghanistan,” pp. 37-40; Seth G. Jones, In the Graveyard of Empires: America’s War in Afghanistan (New York: W.W. Norton & Co., 2010), p. 110.
 There are many different definitions of “peacebuilding”. Michael Barnett, Hunjoon Kim, Madalene O’Donnell and Laura Sitea, “Peacebuilding: What is in a Name?” Global Governance, Vol. 13, No. 1 (January-March 2007), pp. 35-58.
 In the “Summary Study of the Experience derived from the Establishment and Operation of UNEF,” Secretary-General Hammarskjöld argued that the lesson of the Suez Crisis and the subsequent deployment of UN peacekeeping called for, first, a radical move from collective security; second, less involvement of the Permanent Members in peacekeeping; third, that the deployment of peacekeepers requires the consent of the country upon whose soil the peacekeepers will operate. Brian Urquhart, Hammarskjold (New York: W.W. Norton, 1984).
 Stanley Hoffmann, “In Search of a Thread: The UN in the Congo Labyrinth,” International Organization, Vol. 16, No. 2 (Spring 1962), pp. 331-61; Marrack Goulding, “The Evolution of United Nations Peacekeeping,” International Affairs, Vol. 69, No. 3 (July 1993), pp. 451-64; Rory Miller, “From At Tiri to Qana: The Impact of Peacekeeping in Lebanon on Israeli-Irish Relations, 1979-2000,” Israel Affairs, Vol. 16, No. 3 (2010), pp. 386-405.
 Salman Ahmed, Paul Keating, and Ugo Solinas, “Shaping the Future of UN Peace Operations: Is There a Doctrine in the House?” Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Vol. 20, No. 1 (March 2007), pp. 11-28; Alex J. Bellamy, “The ‘Next Stage’ in Peace Operations Theory?” International Peacekeeping, Vol. 11, No. 1 (Spring 2004), pp. 17-38.
 Michael Barnett, “Humanitarianism Transformed,” Perspective on Politics, Vol. 3, No. 4 (December 2005), p. 723; David Chandler, “The Road to Military Humanitarianism: How the Human Rights NGOs Shaped a New Humanitarian Agenda,” Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. 23, No. 3 (August 2001), pp. 678-700; Antonio Donini writes “In the past, humanitarian action was at the margins of international action: it occupied a small, narrow place in conflict situations providing succour and protection to civilians in extremis, mostly in refugee situations outside areas of conflict. Now, humanitarian action and personnel are at the centre of the international community’s response to crisis and attract high media visibility.” See Donini, “Local Perceptions of Assistance in Afghanistan,” p. 160.
 Boutros Boutros-Ghali, An Agenda for Peace (New York: United Nations Publication, 1995); Jeffrey Haynes, Democracy in the Developing World: Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East (Cambridge: Polity Press, 2001); Jeffrey Haynes, Third World Politics: A Concise Introduction (Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1996); Samuel P. Huntington, The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century (Norman: University of Oklahoma, 1991); Boutros Boutros-Ghali, “Democracy: A Newly Recognized Imperative,” Global Governance, Vol. 1, No. 1 (Winter 1995), pp. 3-11; Boutros Boutros-Ghali, “Global Leadership after the Cold War,” Foreign Affairs, Vol. 75, No. 2 (March-April 1996), pp. 86-98; Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man (New York: Avon Books, 1992).
 “An Agenda for Peace,” Report of the Secretary-General, 1994; Barnett, Kim, O’Donnell, and Sitea, “Peacebuilding: What is in a Name?”
 See for example, Karin Aggestam, “Conflict Prevention: Old Wine in New Bottles?” International Peacekeeping, Vol. 10, No 1 (Spring 2003), pp. 12-23. Aggestam distinguishes between direct and structural prevention, with the former referring to the underlying causes of conflict, which demands looking at long-term engagements and commitments such as social, economic, and political structures. Direct prevention is more limited in that strategies are more focused and the interaction is between the conflicting parties and the third party. Structural prevention focuses on internal conflict and on actions that aim to prevent state failure/collapse, which is why structural prevention demands a long-term commitment.
 See for example the collection of essays in Robert I. Rotberg (ed.), When States Failed: Causes and Consequences (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2004).
 Richard J. Ponzio, “Transforming Political Authority: UN Democratic Peacebuilding in Afghanistan,” Global Governance, Vol. 13, No. 2 (April-June 2007), pp. 255-76; Goulding, “The Evolution of United Nations Peacekeeping”; Marrack Goudling, “The Use of Force by the United Nations,” International Peacekeeping, Vol. 3, No. 1 (1996), pp. 1-18; Alan James, “Peacekeeping in the Post-Cold Era,” International Journal, Vol. 50, No. 2 (Spring 1995), pp. 241-65.
 Edward Luttwak’s “Give War a Chance” encapsulated the debate. Edward N Luttwak, “Give War a Chance,” Foreign Affair, Vol. 78, No. 4 (July-August 1999), pp. 36-44; Thomas G. Weiss, “Researching Humanitarian Intervention: Some Lessons,” Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 38, No. 4 (July 2001), pp. 419-28; Nicholas J. Wheeler, Saving Strangers: Humanitarian Intervention in International Society (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2002).
 “Report of the Panel on United Nations Peacekeeping,” A/55/305–S/2000/809, August 21, 2009; Sorpong Peou, “The UN, Peacekeeping, and Collective Human Security: From An Agenda for Peace to the Brahimi Report,” International Peacekeeping, Vol. 9, No. 2 (Summer 2002), pp. 51-68; Nigel D. White, “Commentary on the Report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations, (The Brahimi Report),” Journal of Conflict and Security Law, Vol. 6, No. 1 (2001), pp. 127-46.
 Johan Galtung, “Twenty-five Years of Peace Research: Ten Challenges and Some Responses,” Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 22, No. 2 (June 1985), pp. 141-58; Johan Galtung, “Cultural Violence,” Journal of Peace Research, Vol. 27, No. 3 (1990), pp. 291-305; David Roberts, “Post-conflict Statebuilding and State Legitimacy: From Negative to Positive Peace?” Development and Change, Vol. 39, No. 4 (July 2008), pp. 537-55; Jonathan Goodhand and David Hulme, “From Wars to Complex Political Emergencies: Understanding Conflict and Peace-building the New World Disorder,” Third World Quarterly, Vol. 20, No. 1 (February 1999), pp. 13-26; Kristine Höglund and Mimmi Söderberg Kovacs, “Beyond the Absence of War: The Diversity of Peace in Post-Settlement Societies,” Review of International Studies, Vol. 36, No. 2 (2010), pp. 367-90; David Curran and Tom Woodhouse, “Cosmopolitan Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding in Sierra Leone: What Can Africa Contribute?” International Affairs, Vol. 83, No. 6 (2007), pp. 1055-70.
 Documents such as Kofi Annan’s review of the concept of sovereignty as well as the Doctrine of a Responsibility to Protect, not to mention the adoption of the Millennium Goals, all emphasize that the international community sought to redefine the way it should conduct international relations. Kofi Annan, “Two Concepts of Sovereignty,” The Economist, September 19, 1999; “The Responsibility to Protect,” Report of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty and State Sovereignty, December 2001, http://www.iciss.ca/pdf/Commission-Report.pdf; “A More Secure World: Our Shared Responsibility,” Report of the Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Threats, Challenges and Change, (New York: United Nations, 2004), http://www.un.org/secureworld/report2.pdf.
 Robert Jervis, “Understanding the Bush Doctrine,” Political Science Quarterly, Vol. 118, No. 3 (2003), pp. 365-88; Walter Lafeber, “The Bush Doctrine,” Diplomatic History, Vol. 26, No. 4 (Fall 2006), pp. 543-58; Condoleezza Rice, “Rethinking the National Interest: The New American Realism,” Foreign Affairs, Vol. 87, No. 4, (July-August 2008), pp. 2-26.
 Mohammed Ayoob, “Humanitarian Intervention and State Sovereignty,” The International Journal of Human Rights, Vol. 6, No. 1 (Spring 2002), pp. 81-102; Jarat Chopra and Tanja Hohe, “Participatory Intervention,” Global Governance, Vol. 10, No. 3 (July-September 2004), pp. 289-305; Nicholas J. Wheeler, “Dying for ‘Enduring Freedom’: Accepting Responsibility for Civilian Casualties in the War against Terrorism,” International Relations, Vol. 16, No. 2 (2002), pp. 205-25; Amitav Acharya, “Redefining the Dilemmas of Humanitarian Intervention,” Australian Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 56, No. 3 (2002), pp. 373-81; Nigel D. White, “The Legality of Bombing in the Name of Humanity,” Journal of Conflict and Security Law, Vol. 5, No. 1 (2000), pp. 27-43; Christopher Greenwood, “International Law and the NATO Intervention in Kosovo,” International and Comparative Law Quarterly, Vol. 49 No. 4 (2000), pp. 926-34.
 Lakhdar Brahimi, “Afghanistan: Prospects for the Future,” Georgetown Journal of International Affairs, Vol. 4, No. 2 (Summer-Fall 2003), pp. 75-78; Ponzio, “Transforming Political Authority,” pp. 255-75.
 Brahimi, “Afghanistan,” p. 81.
 The famed British historian Arnold Toynbee noted following a visit that one cannot study world history without looking at Afghanistan because, “The narrow waist of the mountains just to the north of Kabul has been one of the key points in world history because so many people and things have passed over it. Aryans and Greeks, Persians and Moguls have all passed that way en route for the subcontinent. Islam and Buddhism travelled this way through what is now Soviet Central Asia and then through Sinkiang into north-western China and so into the Far East in general.” Arnold Toynbee, “Impressions of Afghanistan and Pakistan’s North-West Frontier: In Relation to the Communist World,” International Affairs, Vol. 37, No. 2 (April 1961), pp. 161-62.
 On ethnicity in South Asia, see for example, Walker Connor, “Ethnology and the Peace of South Asia,” World Politics, Vol. 22, No. 1 (October 1969), pp. 51-86. On political ecology, see Robert L. Canfield, “The Ecology of Rural Ethnic Groups and the Spatial Dimensions of Power,” American Anthropologist, Vol. 75, No. 5 (October 1973), pp. 1511-528; Karim-Aly Kassam, “Viewing Change Through the Prism of Indigenous Human Ecology: Findings from the Afghan and Tajik Pamirs,” Human Ecology, Vol. 37, No. 6 (2009), pp. 677-90.
 Nazif M. Shahrani, “War, Factionalism, and the State in Afghanistan,” American Anthropologist, Vol. 104, No. 3 (September 2002), pp. 715-22; Kassam, “Viewing Change Through the Prism of Indigenous Human Ecology.”
 Nancy Hatch Dupree, “Cultural Heritage and National Identity in Afghanistan,” Third World Quarterly, Vol. 23, No. 5 (October 2002), p. 977; Robert D. Kaplan, Soldiers of God: With Islamic Warriors in Afghanistan and Pakistan (New York: Vintage Books, 2001); Rory Stewart, The Place in Between (Orlando: Harcourt Inc., 2006).
 Louis Dupree, “Settlement and Migration Patterns in Afghanistan: A Tentative Statement,” Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 9, No. 3 (1975), p. 399.
 This is a common feature in Afghanistan in that rulers repeatedly worry about potential opponents, which leads them to embrace a policy of divide and rule.
 Shahrani, “War, Factionalism, and the State in Afghanistan.”
 Marvin G. Weinbaum and Jonathan B. Harder, “Pakistan’s Afghan Policies and Their Consequences,” Contemporary South Asia, Vol. 16, No. 1 (2008), pp. 25-38; Amin Saikal, “Afghanistan and Pakistan: The Question of Pashtun Nationalism?” Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, Vol. 30, No. 1 (2010), pp. 5-17; Ahmed Rashid, Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2000).
 Craig Cohen and Derek Chollet assert that for Pakistan the Afghan Taliban were an asset and not a liability as they helped Pakistan deal with India–always seen as a threat by Pakistanis–should the United States abandon South Asia. See Craig Cohen and Derek Chollet, “When $10 Billion Is Not Enough: Rethinking U.S. Strategy toward Pakistan,” The Washington Quarterly, Vol. 30, No. 2 (Spring 2007), p. 16.
 This is best seen in respect to Pakistan’s nuclear program, which developed because of concerns about India and India’s nuclear program. Gregory F. Giles and James E. Doyle, “India and Pakistani Views on Nuclear Deterrence,” Comparative Strategy, Vol. 15, No. 2 (1996), pp. 135-59.
 Shaun Gregory argues that the ISI, since the end of the Afghan campaign, has had a four-prong policy: 1. Divert arms and ammunition from the Afghan conflict to empower separatist groups in Kashmir. 2. Expand the number of Madaris and training camps inside Pakistani Kashmir. 3. Transit Afghan and international Muslim fighters from the Afghan conflict to the new pan-Islamist “Holy War” in Kashmir. 4. Create new militant organizations that ISI controls, such as Lashkar-e-Toiba (formed in 1990), Harakat ul-Ansar (formed in 1993), and Jaish-e-Mohammed (formed in 1994). Shaun Gregory, “The ISI and the War on Terrorism,” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, Vol. 30, No. 12 (December 2007), p. 1018.
 Amin argues that in the 1970s the Bhutto government supported around 5,000 Afghans who opposed the Daoud government because, first, it wanted to neutralize any pro-Pushtoonistan intentions of the Daoud government; second, to encourage Daoud to drop his desire to have the Durand line negotiated. Tahir Amin, “Afghan Resistance: Past, Present, and Future,” Asian Survey, Vol. 24, No. 4 (April 1984), p. 378; Gregory, “The ISI and the War on Terrorism,” pp. 1013-31; Dorothea Seelye Franck, “Pakhtunistan – Disputed Disposition of a Tribal Land,” Middle East Journal, Vol. 6, No. 1 (Winter 1952), pp. 49-68.
 A census of Afghans in Pakistan that was completed in March 2005 showed that around 3.5 million Afghans remained abroad, which suggests that prior to the big return of 2005, the Afghan refugee camps in Pakistan may have held as many as 8 million people. Daniel A. Kronenfeld, “Afghan Refugees in Pakistan: Not All Refugees, Not Always in Pakistan, Not Necessarily Afghan?” Journal of Refugee Studies, Vol. 21, No. 1 (2008), p. 44.
 Weinbaum and Harder, “Pakistan’s Afghan Policies and Their Consequences.”
 Seth Jones recounts that when he spoke to a senior Afghan official in September 2006, following the publication of a piece by U.S. Army Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Ralph Peters in the June 2006 issue of Armed Forces Journal in which Peters argued for incorporation of the North West Frontier Province with Afghanistan, the official stated that Peters seemed to understand Afghanistan. Jones, In the Graveyard of Empires, p. 100.
 Barbara Crossette, “Indira’s Gandhi’s Meddling Legacy,” World Policy Journal, Vol. 25, No. 1 (Spring 2008), pp. 36-44; Stephen Philip Cohen, “The Nation and the State of Pakistan,” The Washington Quarterly, Vol. 25, No. 2 (Summer 2002), pp. 109-22; G. W. Choudhury, “The Last Days of United Pakistan: A Personal Account,” International Affairs, 49, No. 2 (April 1973), pp. 229-39.
 Amin Saikal, “Afghanistan’s Ethnic Conflict,” Survival, Vol. 40, No. 2 (Summer 1998), p. 116.
 Louis Dupree argues that historically, Afghan society had the traditional–“white beard” maliks who managed their communities along traditional lines. The Afghan jihad led to two new types of mailks: the self-made malik, those individuals who came back from Iran or the Gulf States with knowledge of how to work with government and government officials; they also had money, which enabled them to assume positions of power in Afghan society, even if it was not merited. The other type of malik was the mujahidin malik, seen as a great warrior and defender of the Afghan people, while the old maliks lost their status because they lived in the refugee camps. Louis Dupree, “Afghanistan in 1983: And Still No Solution,” Asian Survey, Vol. 24, No. 2 (February 1983), p. 233. In an earlier article Dupree notes that when a three-generation family moves to the city, it undermines the traditional fabric as the grandparent “usually finds itself with no role,” and respect towards this generation diminishes. Dupree, “Settlement and Migration Patterns in Afghanistan,” p. 411.
 Jon Boone reports that a local resident of Kabul claimed the presence of Afghani soldiers in one of the elections stations was intended to prevent the local population from voting for Pashtun candidates. This emphasizes the importance of ethnic identity in Afghanistan, as Pashtun–though they often disagree–will support one another against another ethnic group. Boone, “Violence and Corruption Still Dog Afghan Elections”; Hatch Dupree, “Cultural Heritage and National Identity in Afghanistan,” pp. 977-90.
 Hatch Dupree, “Cultural Heritage and National Identity in Afghanistan,” pp. 977-89.
 Anthony Hyman, “Nationalism in Afghanistan,” International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 34, No. 2 (May 2002), p. 299.
 Rumors of Russian meddling in Afghanistan led to the First Afghan War (1838-1842) and the Second Afghan War (1878-1880), not to mention the Penjdeh Crisis of 1885 in which Britain and Russian nearly went to war when Russian border patrols reached the Afghan border. David Fromkin, “The Great Game in Asia,” Foreign Affairs, Vol. 58, No. 4 (Spring 1980), p. 940.
 Victoria Schofield, Afghan Frontier: At the Crossroads of Conflict (New York: I.B. Tauris, 2010).
 William Maley, “Political Legitimation in Contemporary Afghanistan,” Asian Survey, Vol. 27, No. 6 (June 1987), pp. 705-27.
 Hyman, “Nationalism in Afghanistan,” pp. 299-315; Amin, “Afghan Resistance,” pp. 373-99; Anwar-ul-Haq Ahady, “The Decline of the Pashtuns in Afghanistan,” Asian Survey, Vol. 35, No. 7 (July 1995), pp. 621-34; Schofield, Afghan Frontier.
 Bernt Glatzer, “Is Afghanistan on the Brink of Ethnic and Tribal Disintegration?” in William Maley (ed.), Fundamentalism Reborn? Afghanistan and the Taliban (New York: New York University Press, 1998), pp. 167-81; Robert Lane Sammon, “Mullas and Maliks: Understanding The Roots of Conflict in Pakistan’s Federally Administrated Tribal Areas,” Master Thesis, University of Pennsylvania, April 2008, p. 17; Syed Abdul Quddus, The Pathans (Lahore: Ferozsons Ltd., 1987), p. 83.
 Saikal, “Afghanistan and Pakistan,” pp. 5-17; Frank Ledwidge, “Justice in Helmand: The Challenge of Law Reform in a Society at War,” Asian Affairs, Vol. 40, No. 1 (March 2009), pp. 77-89.
 See for example, Winston Churchill, The Story of the Malakand Field Force: An Episode of Frontier War (London: Thomas Nelson & Sons, Ltd., 1916).
 Saikal, “Afghanistan and Pakistan,” p. 6.
 Victoria Schofield writes that during the nineteenth-century marriage between British officers and Pashtun women was fairly common. Schofield, Afghan Frontier, pp. 199-200; Ashraf Ghani, “Islam and State-Building in a Tribal Society Afghanistan: 1880-1901,” Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 12, No. 2 (1978), pp. 269-84.
 Donald N. Wilber, “The Structure and Position of Islam in Afghanistan,” Middle East Journal, Vol. 6, No. 1 (Winter 1952), p. 41.
 Ashraf Ghani argues that the creation of the State of Afghanistan in 1747 raised the issue of religion because though Muslims, the tribesmen did not use Shari’a (Islamic law) as the judicial basis of the country; allegiance to the Afghan monarch was based on tribal rather than religious codes. Ghani, “Islam and State-Building in a Tribal Society Afghanistan”; Eden Naby, “Islam within the Afghan Resistance,” Third World Quarterly, Vol. 10, No. 2 (April 1988), pp. 787-805; Antonio Giustozzi, “Afghanistan: “Friction” Between Civilizations,” in Stig Jarle Hansen, Atle Mesoy and Tuncay Kardas (eds.), The Borders of Islam: Exploring Huntington’s Faultlines, from Al-Andalus to the Virtual Ummah, (New York: Columbia University Press, 2009), p. 52.
 Ahmed Rashid notes “Historically, Afghanistan was a deeply conservative Muslim country where sharia, as interpreted by Afghan tribal custom, prevailed for centuries.” Ahmed Rashid, “The Taliban: Exporting Extremism,” Foreign Affairs, Vol. 78, No. 6 (1999), p. 24.
 Barnett R. Rubin, “Political Elites in Afghanistan: Rentier State Building, Rentier State Wrecking,” International Journal of Middle East Studies, Vol. 24, No. 1 (February 1992), pp. 77-99; Barnett R. Rubin, “Lineages of the State in Afghanistan,” Asian Survey, Vol. 28, No. 11 (November 1988), pp. 1188-209; Toynbee, “Impressions of Afghanistan and Pakistan’s North-West Frontier,” pp. 161-69.
 Kenneth Holland, “The Canadian Provincial Reconstruction Team: The Arm of Development in Kandahar Province,” American Review of Canadian Studies, Vol. 40, No. 2 (June 2010), p. 277.
 In his biography of Hamid Karzai, Nick Mills’ conversations with the Afghan President make clear that Afghans feel that they were abandoned in 1989, which allowed their country to descend into the crisis in the twenty-first century. Nick B. Mills, Karzai: The Failing American Intervention and the Struggle for Afghanistan (Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons, 2007).
 See for example, Brahimi, “Afghanistan,” pp. 75-81.
 This is developed from Ponzio, “Transforming Political Authority,” pp. 260-61; Astri Suhrke; Kristian Berg Harpviken, and Arne Strand, “After Bonn: Conflictual Peace Building,” The Third World Quarterly, Vol. 23, No. 5 (2002), pp. 875-80.
 In February 2006, after a meeting in London attended by delegates from 60 states and international organizations, a new commitment was made towards Afghanistan in the shape of the Afghan Compact designed to provide “…a strategy for building an effective, accountable state in Afghanistan, with targets for improvements in security, governance, and development, including measures for reducing the narcotics economy and promoting regional cooperation.” Barnett R. Rubin and Humayun Hamidzada, “From Bonn to London: Governance Challenges and the Future of Statebuilding in Afghanistan,” International Peacekeeping, Vol. 14, No. 1 (2007), p. 10.
 Security Council Resolution 1386 (2001) adopted after the Bonn Conference, which established the Afghan Interim Authority (AIA), authorized the creation of the International Security Assistance Force to assist the AIA “…in the maintenance of security in Kabul and its surrounding areas.”
 ISAF adopted some of the tactics used by the British as they fought the Malay insurgency in the in the 1950s, through a policy known as “Shape-Clear-Hold-Build.” ISAF modified it: “Political, Military, Economic, Social, Infrastructure, and Information,” in which the force engages in political, military, economic, and social activities. The approach involves defensive, offensive, and stabilization operations. Peter Dahl Thruelsen, “The Taliban in Southern Afghanistan: A Localised Insurgency with a Local Objective,” Small Wars & Insurgencies, Vol. 21, No. 2 (June 2010), p. 261.
 Security Council Resolution 1386 calls upon ISAF “…to work in close consultation with the Afghan Interim Authority in the implementation of the force mandate, as well as with the Special Representative of the Secretary-General.” Security Council Resolution 1386, December 20, 2001.
 Ibid, italics in text.
 Paris argues that liberal internationalism (Liberal Peace), “suggests an activist foreign policy that promotes liberal principles abroad, especially through multilateral cooperation and international institutions.” Ronald Paris, “Peacebuilding and the Limits of Liberal Internationalism,” International Security, Vol. 22, No. 2 (Autumn 1997), p. 56; Ronald Paris, “Saving the Liberal Peace,” Review of International Studies, Vol. 36, No. 2 (2010), pp. 337-65; Roger Mac Ginty, “Indigenous Peace-Making Versus the Liberal Peace,” Cooperation and Conflict, Vol. 43, No. 2 (2008), pp. 139-63.
 In 1999, Secretary-General Kofi Annan argued that state sovereignty needed to be redefined, since at the closing of the twentieth-century, states were seen as “instruments at the service of their peoples,” leading Annan to assert that individual sovereignty–“fundamental freedom of each individual”–had risen to new heights of importance, surpassing that of traditional state sovereignty. Kofi Annan, “Two Concepts of Sovereignty,” The Economist, September 19, 1999.
 Brahimi, “Afghanistan,” p. 79.
 Touko Piiparinen, “A Clash of Mindsets? An Insider’s Account of Provincial Reconstruction Teams,” International Peacekeeping, Vol. 14, No. 1 (2007), pp. 143-57; Matthew Jackson and Stuart Gordon, “Rewiring Interventions? UK Provincial Reconstruction Teams and ‘Stabilization’,” International Peacekeeping, Vol. 14, No. 5 (20070, pp. 647-61.
 Kenneth Holland, “The Canadian Provincial Reconstruction Team: The Arm of Development in Kandahar Province,” American Review of Canadian Studies, Vol. 40, No. 2 (June 2010), p. 278.
 Paul Cornish, “The United States and Counterinsurgency,” International Affairs, Vol. 85, No. 1 (2009), pp. 63-71.
 Rani D. Mullen places much responsibility for Afghanistan’s weakness in 2008 on Afghan and international community reasons. Rani D. Mullen, “Afghanistan in 2008: State Building on the Precipice,” Asian Survey, Vol. 49, No. 1 (January-February 2009), pp. 28-38.
 Erika Feller, “Giving Peace A Chance: Displacement and Rule of Law During Peacebuilding,” Refugee Survey Quarterly, Vol. 28, No. 1 (2009), pp. 78-94; Bronwyn Anne Leebaw, “The Irreconcilable Goals of Transitional Justice,” Human Rights Quarterly, Vol. 30, No. 1 (February 2008), pp. 95-118.
 The Paris Principles refer to the 1991 meeting of human rights activists in which they pushed for the establishment of National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs) whose purpose would be to ensure that states abide by and have human rights mechanisms. In 1992 the UN Human Rights Commission adopted the Paris Principles, followed by the UN General Assembly in 1993. Tazreena Sajjad, “These Spaces in Between: The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and Its Role in Transitional Justice,” The International Journal of Transitional Justice, Vol. 3 No. 3 (2009), pp. 424-27.
 Ruti R. Teitel, “Transitional Justice Genealogy,” Harvard Human Rights Journal, Vol. 16 (2003), pp. 69-94; Ruti R. Teitel, “Editorial Note-Transitional Justice Globalized,” The International Journal of Transitional Justice, Vol. 2, No. 1 (2008), pp. 1-4.
 Brahimi, “Afghanistan,” pp 75-81.
 Fotini Christia and Michael Semple, “Flipping the Taliban: How to Win in Afghanistan,” Foreign Affairs, Vol. 88, No. 4 (July-August 2009), pp. 38-39.
 Ahmad Nader Nadery, “Peace or Justice? Transitional Justice in Afghanistan,” The International Journal of Transitional Justice, Vol. 1, No. 1 (2007), pp. 173-74.
 Antonio Donini, “An Elusive Quest: Integration in the Response to the Afghan Crisis,” Ethnics & International Affairs, Vol. 18, No. 2 (2004), p. 25.
 See for example the report by Government Accountability Office, Afghanistan Security Environment, May 5, 2010; GAO, 10-613R, http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d10613r.pdf; Bob Herbert, “We Owe the Troops an Exit,” The New York Times, August 31, 2010.
 According to a report by the U.S. Government Accountability Service in March 2009, attacks on Afghan security forces (the Afghan National Police and the Afghan National Army) increased six-fold from October 2003 to October 2008; between October 2007 and October 2008, they increased three-fold from 97 to 289. See U.S. Government Accountability Office, Afghanistan Security: U.S. Programs to Further Reform Ministry of Interior and National Police Challenged by Lack of Military Personnel and Afghan Cooperation, GAO, 2009, p. 6, http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d09280.pdf.
 Sultan Barakat and Steven A. Zyck, “Afghanistan’s Insurgency and the Viability of a Political Settlement,” Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, Vol. 33, No. 3 (2010), pp. 194-95; Government Accountability Office, Afghanistan Security, p. 6, http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d09280.pdf.
 This is best seen by the adoption of a presidential decree in 2002 creating the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission under Sima Samar. The commission had a seven point-program: human rights education; women’s rights; children’s rights; monitoring and investigation of human rights violations; research, policy, and media; transitional justice; and a program for people with disabilities.
 Dexter Filkins, “Afghan Women Protest New Law on Home Life,” The New York Times, April 16, 2009; Janine di Giovanni, “Afghanistan Women Outraged at Proposed Family Planning Law,” The Guardian, July 29, 2009; Jon Boone, “‘Worse than the Taliban’: New Law Rolls Back Rights for Afghan Women,” The Guardian, March 31, 2009.
 See for example, Rashid, “The Taliban,” pp. 24-25; Hyman, “Nationalism in Afghanistan,” pp. 299-315; Ghani, “Islam and State-Building in a Tribal Society Afghanistan.”
 The Kabul Bank scandal best typifies why the Afghan system is virtually unfixable, as Khalilullah Frozi, one of the bank’s top executives had served–before being forced to step down–as an adviser to Hamid Karzai when Karzai was seeking reelection in 2009. The bank thus provided millions to Karzai’s campaign. Filikins reports that interviews with Afghan officials and businessmen have described the bank as “Mr. Farnood’s [former chairman] personal fief, which he used to reward himself, shareholders and political allies who could advance his financial interests.” See Dexter Filikins, “Troubles at Afghan Bank Jolt Financial System,” The New York Times, September 1, 2010; Jon Boone, “Afghan Government Tries to Freeze Shareholders Assets After Run on Bank,” The Guardian, September 7, 2010.
 See for example Amin Saikal’s critique of the Afghan political system post-Bonn. Saikal argues that a presidential system is ill-suited for Afghanistan. He writes, “Karzai has presided over an increasingly corrupt and dysfunctional government. He has not been able to create a united and competent governing elite; and personal friendship, family, tribal, ethnic and factional connections rather than merit have formed the basis for most senior government appointments. He has surrounded himself with many political and ethnic entrepreneurs, most of whom come from the Afghan diaspora and lack the qualifications and experience to serve Afghanistan beyond their individual interests. Nor has Karzai fulfilled the expectations of a majority of the Afghan people for peace, security and improved standards of living.” Barnett R. Rubin, Amin Saikal, and Julian Lindley-French, “The Way Forward in Afghanistan: Three Views,” International Affairs, Vol. 51, No. 1 (February-March 2009), p. 88. On how Afghans perceive the reconstruction process, see Donini, “Local Perceptions of Assistance in Afghanistan,” pp. 158-72.
 A foreign diplomat working on law and order issues in Afghanistan stated that certain individuals remained untouchable in Afghanistan. Jon Boone, “Karzai ‘Fired’ Anti-Corruption Lawyer After Top Official Stung,” The Guardian, August 30, 2010. The same thing occurred in respect to Kabul Bank as the Karzai and the Fahim families appear to do as they please. Adam B. Ellick and Dexter Filkins, “Karzai Family Political Ties Shielded Bank in Afghanistan,” The New York Times, September 8, 2010.
 Antonio Giustozzi (ed.), Decoding the New Taliban (New York: Columbia University Press, 2009).
 Lieven, “Afghanistan,” p. 487. On the notion of an Afghan ethno-federation see for example, Scott Radnitz, “Working with the Warlords: Designing an Ethnofederal System from Afghanistan,” Regional and Federal Studies, Vol. 14, No. 4 (2007), pp. 513-37.
 Mark Landler, “Afghanistan and Pakistan Sign a Trade Deal Representing a Thaw in Relations,” The New York Times, July 19, 2010; Sean M. Maloney, “On a Pale Horse? Conceptualizing Narcotics Production in Southern Afghanistan and Its Relationship to the Narcoterror Nexus,” Small Wars & Insurgencies, Vol. 20, No. 1 (March 2009), 203-14; Sean M. Maloney, “A Violent Impediment: The Evolution of Insurgent Operations in Kandahar Province 2003-07,” Small Wars & Insurgencies, Vol. 19, No. 2 (June 2008), pp. 201-20.
 In August 2010, as people were preparing for the elections, a wave of intimidation seemed to sweep the country highlighted by the discovery of the bodies of five men in the Adraskan District, Helmand Province who had allegedly been kidnapped and executed because they were campaigning for Fauzia Gilani, a female member of the Afghan parliament and a women’s activist. Jon Boone, “Afghanistan Election: Five Campaigners for Female Candidate Shot Dead,” The Guardian, August 30, 2010.
 Michael Hastings reports that in one of the Questions and Answers sessions held by Stanley McChrystal with U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan, the soldiers expressed unhappiness with the restriction imposed on them in respect to the usage of lethal force. Michael Hastings, “The Runaway General,” Rolling Stone, June 25, 2010.