Afghanistan’s Political Reconciliation Policy: Ill Conceived and Self-Defeating

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  • July 2014

    The Afghan government’s peace and reconciliation overtures to the militants, initially at the unofficial level but later sanctioned officially, have formed a key theme of state security policy from the early days of the post-Taliban administration in Afghanistan. Yet far from producing peace and stability, they seem to have played into the hands of the violent groups intent on overthrowing the country’s internationally supported and legitimate political system in the past decade. There is no doubt about the importance of national reconciliation as a wider process of overcoming the legacy of beleaguered social relationships and forging a common vision for the future among all Afghans, but the nature of the government’s reconciliation policy, which borders on appeasement of the militants, seems so far to have created more vulnerabilities than strengths in the face of increasingly emboldened anti-state violent groups.