As the international security forces prepare to depart from Afghanistan, this Adelphi turns attention to the ability of a ravaged country to tackle its myriad security problems, overcome crippling poverty and corruption and somehow revive its devastated economy. The government faces daunting challenges, ranging from the threat of insurgency and cross-border terrorism to the difficulty of reintegrating and reconciling former Taliban figures and combatants into a political settlement. It must do so against the background of continuing and potentially increasing regional instability, with the country’s neighbours tempted to step up their interference in Afghan affairs. Stability depends upon drawing the wider Pashtun community into the ruling coalition, while simultaneously maintaining security, increasing the capability of the state and balancing the interests of its neighbours and regional powers. This volume draws together expert analysis to provide a comprehensive study of the obstacles that Afghanistan must overcome, together with regional and international partners, as it charts a slow course back to functional statehood.
"This penetrating analysis, succinctly written with a total grasp of the complexity of the problems, provides the most forward-looking analysis available anywhere. Addressing Afghanistan’s ties to Pakistan, India, Iran and Central Asia, it shows how the region will affect Afghanistan’s future and how Afghanistan will affect the region."- Ahmed Rashid, author of Taliban and Descent into Chaos: The United States and the Failure of Nation Building in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Central Asia
"An invaluable work of sober, informed analysis. Each chapter lays out the facts without bias, guiding the reader through the enormous complexity of Afghanistan past and present. Most importantly, the regional dynamic receives thorough treatment."- Jason Burke, author of Al-Qaeda: the True Story of Radical Islam and The 9/11 Wars, and South Asia correspondent for the Guardian and the Observer
"For those of us who care about the importance of Afghanistan and worry about its future and thus for our own safety, this book makes fascinating and essential reading. It illuminates the issues with great thoroughness and, against the prevailing gloom, dares to make the case for conditional optimism."- Lord Robertson, former Secretary-General of NATO and former UK Secretary of Defence