Afghan peace will look messy to us

LaceyFebruary 1, 2013 

The description of the governing process and relationships in Oruzgan is just about the same as was typical around Afghanistan when I was there in spring 1978 (just before Communist Party overthrow of Dowd goverment.). It was a balancing of local rulers and central government with various factions around the country just as it appears now.

A viable government needs to be designed with this base in mind. We might like democracy and in Afghanistan they will talk of democracy, but stability will only be achieved with the assist of strong local leaders representing each area’s powerful tribe. The tribal leaders will form their organizations and relationships with other local areas and the central government. This will be messy to outside eyes, but is common across much of the world. Our democracy guarantees years of open conflict. We must honor Afghan traditions and values to find success.

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