NATO Mission in Afghanistan: Problems and Prospects
ISA Annual Convention 2009 on ‘Exploring the Past, Anticipating the Future, International Studies Association, New York, USA
February 15-18, 2009
US/NATO and Afghan authorities in Afghanistan’s southern and eastern regions and Pakistani government in the country’s tribal and frontier regions can win the battle against Taliban-led insurgents if they resolve to undertake a decisive military push not to achieve a military victory, but to facilitate a pragmatic political resolution of the conflict. A twin-pronged strategy based on the use of force against the Taliban and their extremist affiliates directly engaged in terrorism, and the pursuit of dialogue with those among the Taliban who are willing to compromise for the sake of legitimate political and economic benefits, has greater chances of success. We shall wait and see as to what sort of broader policy changes the Obama administration undertakes in the coming months to combat Taliban-led insurgency and explore the possibility of peace and development in the region. If these policy changes pragmatically aim to solve all the factors undermining NATO mission in Afghanistan and limiting Pakistan’s success in the tribal regions, then there is hope that the situation in the case of Afghan war may start to make similar progress as has been the case in Iraq recently. Full Text

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