Afghanistan's Continuing Challenge

Afghanistan’s Continuing Challenge

  • 24 September 2002

The lecture announced that the September 11 attacks in New
York and Washington DC coupled with the international
community’s strong opposition to the five-year-old Taliban
regime provided the completely cooperative international
context within which the US carried out its October military
operations against the Taliban. The four-fold objectives of the
October 2001 US-led military operations against Afghanistan, as
stated by the US were to (1) capture Osama bin Laden and other
Al-Qaeda leadership, (2) tackle the threat of terrorism through
destruction of the “infrastructure of terrorism,” (3) create stability
in the politically turbulent zones, and (4) rehabilitate the Afghan
state and society and lay the foundations for a politically stable
and democratic Afghanistan. The lecture assessed the extent to
which concrete movement has been made in the direction of
achieving the four objectives outlined above. In doing so the
policy and operational hurdles confronted were highlighted, as
will the likelihood of successfully achieving the objectives.
The role of the main players, the United States and the
United Nations was reviewed. Issues raised in the internal US
debate among US legislators, policy-makers and think-tanks
on how to handle the security challenge in Afghanistan and
on whether or not to deploy additional troops, were examined.
The internal dynamics of the current Afghan context was
analyzed, particularly how the ethnicity factor is reflected in
the internal balance of political and military power. Then the
lecture addressed the challenges facing the internal security in
Afghanistan, and the increasing acts of violence that have proven
the ineffectiveness of the joint security arrangements between
the United States and the International Security Assistance
Force (ISAF). Finally, the lecture examined the options available
for a constructive way forward in Afghanistan. In this context,
the impact of key elements in charting a constructive way
forward was assessed—deployment of additional foreign troops,
additional international support for reconstruction, US and UN
authored political restructuring, re-emerging warlords, regional
countries and the Bonn Agreement. She also addressed the role
of the enlightened power and policy in achieving stability in
Afghanistan and the region.

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LECTURER

Tuesday 24 September 2002

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Tuesday 24 September 2002

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