Why Regional Solutions Won't Help Afghanistan

The Myth of Neighborly Harmony

Courtesy Reuters

Determined to get out of Afghanistan sooner rather than later, Washington, the United Nations, and NATO have been hunting for a multilateral regional approach to the country's woes. U.S. officials have called for neighboring countries to pitch in ahead of the drawdown and have urged Afghanistan's neighbors to develop strategic partnerships to build up infrastructure, boost trade, increase investment, and fight extremism. In effect, the move is a recognition that during its ten years in Afghanistan, the United States has handed off too little of the task of stabilizing the country to Kabul's neighbors. As U.S. General John Allen recently indicated, there are many issues that cannot be solved out of Kabul, and Afghanistan needs a regional, not a national solution. Now, the United Nations is working on a plan for a joint security arrangement in the region based on the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe

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