An Afghan army unit in Kabul, January 2002
Sayed Salahuddin / Reuters


An unforeseen result of the U.S. military's stunning success in Afghanistan was the overnight suspension of that country's vicious, 23-year-old civil war. Afghanistan's future—including whether it again degenerates into a terrorist base—now largely depends on what is made of this precious opportunity.

In countries recovering from civil war, the most critical requirement for long-term peace is the demobilization of the formerly warring parties and their integration within a unified military. Angola and the former Yugoslavia provide cautionary tales about the difficulties of military reintegration; Mozambique and South Africa give more hopeful examples of how

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