CNAS: Political strategies for Afghanistan

May 7, 2010, 10:35 a.m.

The Center for a New American Security has a report on the potential political aspects of US counterinsurgency tactics in Afghanistan:

The purpose of this paper is to provide an initial template for how to influence the strategic choices of actors within the Afghan government. This paper starts with an overview of sources of U.S. and allied leverage in Afghanistan and then discusses why military campaign design provides a useful template for designing a political strategy for Afghanistan. This paper concludes with six considerations for U.S. and allied policymakers and a short series of policy recommendations. Summary of Recommendations

  • Convene another strategic review to assess the civilian strategy, not the U.S. and allied military strategy, in Afghanistan.

  • Build a functioning relationship with Hamid Karzai.

  • Use U.S. and allied leverage to press the government of Afghanistan to either hold elections for district governors or appoint competent governors from Kabul.

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