Incremental Peace in Afghanistan
Publication date: 
Accord issue: 
Accord editors Anna Larson and Alexander Ramsbotham introduce the publication, explaining its rationale, focus areas and structure. They identify the need for a radical change in approach to move beyond peace rhetoric in Afghanistan through a progressive, step-by-step process towards political settlement, which builds stability, confidence and legitimacy over time. This would pursue two phased objectives: first, short-term – to reduce violence which inevitably involves a central role for the conflict parties, principally the Taliban and the Afghan government; and second, long-term – to achieve a more broadly inclusive social contract representative of all Afghans which is only achievable with involvement and ultimately endorsement across Afghan society.
This Accord is structured in three main sections. Contributors span a range of perspectives and insights of Afghan and international men and women from academia, the military, government, armed opposition and civil society, many with direct experience of conflict and peace in Afghanistan.
Section 1 looks back to historical lessons of conflict and peacemaking to understand how departures from established, violent political paths might be possible. Sections 2 and 3 look forward to possibilities for peaceful transition in the future, with Section 2 considering priorities for peace initiatives and Section 3 examining options for institutional change. In conclusion, the editors draw lessons from these different contributions and put forward recommendations for policymakers and peace practitioners.