Monday, August 8, 2011

Post-War on Terror? Implications from a regional perspective

This paper examines three possible impacts of the death of Osama bin Laden on the war on terror from the perspective of countries surrounding Afghanistan.

A first scenario sees America abandoning the global war on terror on the territory of Afghanistan and moving its attention to new fronts, such as containing the uprisings in the Middle East or countering the economic rise of China, which will not suit the countries surrounding Afghanistan where terrorism remains a problem.

The second trajectory may see a deeper entrenchment of the American presence in the region through the enactment of a strategic agreement between America and Afghanistan.

The third possible implication of the Bin Laden killing is the possibility of a political settlement through reconciliation with the Taliban and their integration into the Afghan political process.

The paper suggests that any alternative to regional diplomacy for regional reconciliation would be the fragmentation and partition of Afghanistan along ethnic fault lines, which is undesirable for the region and for Afghanistan itself.

Security guarantees need to come from within the region through a resumption of political dialogue and the intensification of economic relations among the region’s countries, a process that can be facilitated by regional and international organisations.

Post-War on Terror?
Implications from a regional perspective

By: Shahrbanou Tadjbakhsh
Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Center | August 2011

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