Friday, June 10, 2011

Durable Peace | Afghan Perspectives

Achieving Durable Peace: Afghan Perspectives on a Peace Process
Hamish Nixon, Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO) | May 2011

This is a great resource to spend some time with. Especially if you are interested in what Afghans are saying. Here is a flavor from chapter five - Getting to a Settlement: Issues of Process.

The US role, or “You cannot be half-pregnant”

"As the major financial and military supporter of the Afghan government and a belligerent, the US will have to participate in negotiations. Until the US clearly signals its willingness to take part in a peace process, not just support it in the abstract, insurgents and other Afghan constituencies will not take such a process seriously"...

- Voices -

The US Role in a Negotiation

"America has vital role in these peace talks. Since America is paying for all expenses, America controls ground and air of Afghanistan, so America is in front line of these talks – Jamiat politician and Wolesi Jirga member

The Afghan government is under the financial support of US. ANA, ANP and NDS are all supported by the US. America is right now fighting Taliban, so how can you ignore the American’s role? It would be very good if these peace talks are between Taliban and US. – Former Taliban official

US should speak directly to insurgents, they should not wait or rely on the Afghan government to take the lead or deliver peace…The US and Europeans seems to be the only parties to the conflict that might want peace…Karzai is not interested in peace, his political survival is tied to the US and NATO presence and the conflict against Taliban…His allies are also not interested in peace, they are happy for US and NATO to continue to fight their former enemies…Taliban are not interested in peace, they are waiting for international forces to leave so they can take power. – Journalist

The biggest role of America and Europe during these peace talks will be to support the start of these talks…Without America and Europe’s cooperation, these talks will be impossible…And in second part, whatever decisions are made in these talks, US and international community should support the decisions and ratify them. – Wolesi Jirga member from southeastern province

They have to assure us that they wouldn’t interfere if we agree on something. What the west likes about peace talks is not acceptable for Afghans. I emphasize the west should support Afghans and Afghan government in these peace talks. They shouldn’t teach us how we should do it. – Former Wolesi Jirga member from Kuchi constituency"

* This PRIO Paper is the first publication of a joint project by the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), the United States Institute of Peace (USIP), and the Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) on achieving a durable peace in Afghanistan, funded by the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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