Aspiration and Ambivalence

by Vanda Felbab-brown

While critical of the US government's demonstrated tendency to favor short-term military considerations over promoting good governance in Afghanistan (among other failings), Felbab-Brown (Brooking Institution) still thinks that there are policies that can salvage the policy towards Afghanistan as troops begin to draw down in 2014. After analyzing the dynamics of the Afghan war in relation to governance, power, and legitimacy in Eastern and Southern Afghanistan; international anti-corruption and improved governance initiatives; logistics and politics in Northern Afghanistan; Afghan local police forces and other militias; the mismatch between counternarcotic and economic development policies; spillover effects in Pakistan and the region; and negotiations with the Taliban, she sets forth recommendations for how the United States and its allies can still significantly affect the situation in Afghanistan beyond 2014 in spite of reduced leverage. These recommendations include: emphasizing continued engagement with Afghanistan; maintaining an ongoing international military presence and robust training and advisory capacity; reducing corruption and improving governance; reining in the warlords, the police, and other militias; synchronizing counternarcotic efforts with good governance; prioritizing economic sustainability and capacity building; and using negotiations with the Taliban as a mechanism to improve governance. Annotation ©2013 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (

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Full Title: Aspiration and Ambivalence: Strategies and Realities of Counterinsurgency and State-building in Afghanistan
Author: Vanda Felbab-brown / Bruce O. Riedel
Publisher: Brookings Inst Pr
Date Published: November 05, 2012
Format: eBook, Blio
Feature: Text to Speech Enabled
Platform: XPS Enabled
Length: 358 pages
Language: English
ISBN: 081572442X / 9780815724421
Categories: Politics & Government / World / Middle Eastern
Politics & Government / International Relations / Diplomacy
Politics & Government / Public Affairs & Administration
Audience: General Adult