Posted on March 24, 2014.
Lessons for a Negotiated Settlement in Afghanistan — If History Serves as a Guide
Source: RAND Corporation
Historical insurgencies that ended in settlement after a stalemate have generally followed a seven-step path. A “master narrative” distilled from these cases could help guide and assess the progress toward a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan.
Posted in Current Events, Links
Posted on October 29, 2013.
Women and Conflict in Afghanistan (PDF)
Source: International Crisis Group
As the presidential election approaches in 2014, with the security transition at the year’s end, Afghan women, including parliamentarians and rights activists, are concerned that the hard-won political, economic and social gains achieved since the U.S.-led intervention in 2001 may be rolled back or conceded in negotiations with the insurgents. Afghanistan’s stabilisation ultimately rests on the state’s accountability to all its citizens, and respect for constitutional, legal and international commitments, including to human rights and gender equality. There will be no sustainable peace unless there is justice, and justice demands that the state respect and protect the rights of women, half its population.
Following the Taliban’s ouster, Afghan women worked hard to reverse the damage wrought by more than two decades of a civil war that deprived them of the limited progress towards gender equality experienced in earlier times. As a result of international support, donor aid and their own efforts, women are now an essential part of the post-Taliban order and have played a major role in reconstructing the state and its institutions. 40 per cent of all schoolchildren are girls. Women are more than 27 per cent of parliament. They are in the bureaucracy, the judiciary and the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and are lawyers, entrepreneurs, journalists and civil society activists.
In the last twelve years, women’s legal status has improved considerably. Gender equality is enshrined in the constitution. The Elimination of Violence Against Women (EVAW) law criminalises rape for the first time. The state is now legally bound to protect women from violence. The ministry of women’s affairs (MOWA) and the government’s National Action Plan for Women (NAPWA) place empowerment at the heart of state building. Yet, women still struggle to avail themselves of their rights and to consolidate and advance their progress.
Posted in Links
Posted on September 10, 2013.
“It Takes a Network”: The Rise and Fall of Social Network Analysis in U.S. Army Counterinsurgency Doctrine (PDF)
Source: Connections (International Network for Social Network Analysis)
During the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, a group of warrior-thinkers developed a new U.S. Army counterinsurgency (COIN) doctrine to fight modern “jihadist” insurgencies. Drawing heavily on social network analysis ideas, COIN principles emphasized population protection and organizational learning and adaptation. As implemented in Iraq by General David Petraeus, the doctrine greatly reduced intercommunal violence although other factors also contributed. But, COIN in Afghanistan under General Stanley McChrystal was unsuccessful in ending the Taliban insurgency. Although the Obama Administration substantially diminished the U.S. Army’s counterinsurgency capabilities, social network analytic ideas persist in military policy and practices.
Posted in Current Events, Web/Tech