Afghanistan – top-down modernisation and “realexistierende Governance”


A reinvigorated anti-Taliban alliance?

If Ghani fails it will not be because of of any foreign policy blunders or because the Taliban will topple him but rahter because he will find it difficult to deal with the “realexistierenden Governance” and his allies. The direction he takes is promising but driving 120 km/h on a bumpy dirt road in the mountains is a challenge for everyone in the car and along that road.

“The Afghan government will now be waiting to see how the Pakistani military obliges Kabul. The Afghans will also be looking to see if the Pakistanis use their clout to try to rein in Taliban attacks in Kabul. The most important thing Islamabad can do is to allow Afghan negotiators to meet the Afghan Taliban leaders who are living in Pakistan.
That could be the most significant move of all and start the long process of ending the war in Afghanistan.”

An undated handout picture shows Latifullah Mehsud at an undisclosed location near the Pakistan-Afghan border

Afghan president: ‘Utilise opportunities to overcome the past’

“I am not ahead of my time. The time went back. I just want todays women to have the same opportunities as my grandmother had. What is wrong with that?”

Afghan first lady in shadow of 1920s queen?

London Conference: Afghanistan conference won’t rock the boat

While there are cases of consultants advising donor-ministries on strategic planning who have no clue about Afghanistan and speak exclusively to the foreign aid community on their very rare visits to the country the picture presented in this article is itself too consultancy-centred. In my own experience with the German development aid and cooperation there have been few cases of (unsuccessful) attempts at outright interference with the results of our analysis and recommendations (and some of them had very real consequences for re-directing or even scrapping programmes).
Also, consultants should not overestimate their impact. They bare no political responsiblity for the advice they give and they are and should be only part of the parcel of development policy and implementation.

Viewpoint: Can China bring peace to Afghanistan?

“In his first interview to Western media, Ambassador Sun said: ”We are ready to do more, we want to play a bigger role.

‘We would welcome the Taliban in any neutral venue such as in China. We will make negotiations happen but the process must be Afghan-owned and Afghan-led – the agenda must be proposed by President Ashraf Ghani,’ he added.”

Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) accompanies Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (R) to view an honour guard during a welcoming ceremony outside the Great Hall of The People on 28 October 2014 in Beijing, China.

The Truth About the Wars

“We’re made for Desert Storm, not Vietnam. As a general, I got it wrong. Like my peers, I argued to stay the course, to persist and persist, to “clear/hold/build” even as the “hold” stage stretched for months, and then years, with decades beckoning. We backed ourselves season by season into a long-term counterinsurgency in Iraq, then compounded it by doing likewise in Afghanistan.”

Well, for Afghanistan the outcome is still undecided. If the claim is, that US military force should fix everything, including peace and statebuilding, it must fail. It is just part of a parcel. Still, a reflective piece of a senior US soldier.

MG Daniel Bolger.jpg

Humanitarian intervention or imperialism?

What a patronising caricature of “the responsibility to protect”. Lawyers and doctors make really poor politicians. Rarely heard a defensible point so poorly argued by someone considered to be a big shot and on home turf. “I as a doctor am always with the victims”.

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