During 2007-2008, raw opium production in Afghanistan reached a record level of an estimated 8,200 tons. In the same period, the Taliban-led insurgency supported by al-Qaida spread to new areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Both countries experienced unprecedented levels of terrorism aswell. After six years of international assistance to the Afghan government, the expansion of both the illicit narcotics industry and the insurgency constitutes a powerful indictment of international policy and capacity.
In May of 2010 Tuft University’s Institute for Global Leadership gathered a select group of Afghan politicians and military officials, Pakistani journalists and scholars, United Nations officials, diplomats, humanitarian workers, and U.S. military representative to discuss on the opportunities for, and obstacles to, security and political reconciliation in Afghanistan. This report presents a summary of that meeting.
Establishing peace and stability in Afghanistan remains an immediate challenge for the international community. The Afghanistan-Pakistan Regional Project (APRP) utilizes subject-matter expertise and extensive networks to support efforts to achieve greater stability in Afghanistan and the region. Through a blend of structured dialogues, applied research, and strategic outreach, APRP works on many of the most pressing problems facing Afghanistan and the surrounding region—from reconciliation to security to regional cooperation.
Alex Strick van Linschoten and Felix Kuehn are researchers and writers based in Kandahar. They have worked in Afghanistan since 2006, focusing on the Taliban insurgency and the history of southern Afghanistan over the past four decades. This paper published by CIC, expands on the following key findings:
At the London Conference on Afghanistan held on January 28, 2010, the government of Afghanistan and the international community stated that regionally owned and steered initiatives stood the best chance of success. President Karzai and President Obama echoed that theme during the former’s May 2010 visit to Washington – their joint statement “underscored the importance of regional cooperation in promoting regional security and in combating illicit financial, criminal, and terrorist networks.”
This report by Jonathan Caulkins, Mark Kleiman, and Jonathan Kulick contributes to the ongoing debate about counter-narcotics policies in Afghanistan, and in relation to counter-insurgency operations by adding a heretofore missing element–applied economic analysis of the effect of counter-narcotics policies. It does so by applying to a stylized depiction of the Afghan situation a standard model that economists and policy analysts have applied to a large range of policy areas.