Sunday 22 Jul 2018 | 12:33 | SYDNEY
Sunday 22 Jul 2018 | 12:33 | SYDNEY

Afghanistan: The regional approach


Sam Roggeveen


25 March 2010 13:01

I learn via Kevin Drum's blog that the NY Times is reporting a potential major breakthrough in Afghanistan:

Representatives of a major insurgent faction have presented a formal 15-point peace plan to the Afghan government, the first concrete proposal to end hostilities since President Hamid Karzai said he would make reconciliation a priority after his re-election last year.

Kevin Drum then links to the analysis of freelance journalist Robert Dreyfuss, who describes this as 'the most important peace initiative since the start of the war in Afghanistan in 2001'. For those who read Michael Wesley's piece about a regional solution to the Afghanistan conflict, Dreyfuss' closing paragraph will sound familiar:

The big question hovering over all of this is: Does the Obama administration have the savvy to undertake a vast, regional approach that sees Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and China components and participants in a deal? Can it make all of those moving parts fit together?

Unfortunately, that's the one time in the article that this 'regional approach' is mentioned — only Pakistan and the various internal Afghan factions are discussed in any detail. But as Michael said in his post, '(t)he problem with the Coalition's diplomatic strategy in Afghanistan is the assumption that the Coalition, the Karzai Government and the Taliban are the only interested actors. It ignores just how central Afghanistan is to the competition among regional powers.'