In the past several decades, the international community has relied on three approaches to deal with countries that descend into chaos. It has supported strongmen capable of reimposing order by force; it has given up in despair, leaving the country to sort out its problems as best it can; and, most recently, it has embarked on ambitious projects to reconstruct the country in the image of a modern secular, multiethnic, and democratic state. None of these approaches should be used in Afghanistan.
Anatol Lieven is a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. This essay is adapted with permission from “Rebuilding Afghanistan: Fantasy versus Reality” (Carnegie Endowment Policy Brief no. 12, January 2002).
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Marina Ottaway, Anatol Lieven; Rebuilding Afghanistan. Current History 1 March 2002; 101 (653): 133–138. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/curh.2002.101.653.133
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