A radical new approach is needed in Afghanistan to build peace step-by-step. There needs to be a move beyond peace rhetoric, through a progressive, step-by-step process towards a political settlement which builds stability, confidence and legitimacy over time. The short-term objective should be a reduction in violence. The long-term objective should be to achieve a more inclusive peace process that is representative of, and endorsed by, Afghan society as a whole. In this Accord, contributors including Afghan and international men and women from academia, the military, government, armed opposition and civil society, examine the prospects for peace in the country, and how this could be achieved. This report is an output of the Political Settlements Research Programme.
This Accord is structured in three main sections:
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.
This report is an output of the Political Settlements Research Programme, which is funded by the Department for International Development (DFID).