We use cookies to provide some features and experiences in QOSHE

More information  .  Close
Aa Aa Aa
- A +

How Not to Lose the Peace in Afghanistan

3 5 0
21.09.2021

The United Nations Charter pledges “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.” Afghans have been at war for several generations, and it is likely that the next generation will not see peace unless U.N. member states unite to prevent an intra-Afghan war. War prevention and peace, however, have not figured prominently as central goals for the U.N. in Afghanistan.

Instead, the U.N. system has focused on emergency humanitarian aid and, to a certain extent, countering terrorism. Outside of the United Nations, pressure is building to arm the opposition to the Taliban.

But there is a third way, between short-term humanitarian aid and fueling a civil war: deploying a U.N. or U.N.-supported peacekeeping mission. There is a fragile peace to keep in Afghanistan, and it is the duty of the United Nations to help keep it.

The United Nations Charter pledges “to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war.” Afghans have been at war for several generations, and it is likely that the next generation will not see peace unless U.N. member states unite to prevent an intra-Afghan war. War prevention and peace, however, have not figured prominently as central goals for the U.N. in Afghanistan.

Instead, the U.N. system has focused on emergency humanitarian aid and, to a certain extent, countering terrorism. Outside of the United Nations, pressure is building to arm the opposition to the Taliban.

But there is a third way, between short-term humanitarian aid and fueling a civil war: deploying a U.N. or U.N.-supported peacekeeping mission. There is a fragile peace to keep in Afghanistan, and it is the duty of the United Nations to help keep it.

The Taliban are in control for now, and the fact that they have stabilized Afghan society for a moment could be their biggest achievement, as it was partly the war-weariness of rural communities that enabled their swift rise to power.

But can they remain in control? According to the expert Fawaz A. Gerges and many others, the Taliban have only a tenuous hold over the country, do not represent a majority of Afghans, and are struggling to govern. The Taliban face challenges both from within their ranks and from other armed groups.

This trouble is unsurprising: According to research by George Mason University’s Philip A. Martin, more than half of rebel victories worldwide end in government collapse, infighting, coups, or defections. Afghans recently took to the streets in protest of the Taliban’s violent........

© Foreign Policy


Get it on Google Play