10 steps for peace in Afghanistan
There is the opportunity now for progress towards peace in Afghanistan. But to become reality, it needs a new step-by-step approach.
The June Eid ceasefires showed that the Taliban leadership has the inclination and authority to deliver a suspension of violence across the movement – and that there is enthusiasm among the membership to embrace it. Statements by Taliban factions in our new Accord publication further show some common interest in achieving more permanent peaceful political status, but without surrendering or rejecting their identity as Taliban.
Momentum since the ceasefire within and outside Afghanistan for a political process to address the conflict needs to be nurtured. Enduring strategies of counter-insurgency, statebuilding and diplomacy over many years have failed to provide either stability or credible talks towards a peace deal. A persistent theme of the Afghan conflict has been the glaring gap between words and actions, with both sides talking peace while intent on waging war. More of the same policies will mean more of the same violence.
US soldiers investigate an insurgent fighting position overlooking routes used by locals as well as the US and Afghan Security Forces through the inhabited valleys of Paktya Province, 2008. © ZUMA Press, Inc. / Alamy Stock Photo
Short-term steps to reduce violence
Former Taliban fighters line up to hand over their rifles to the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan during a reintegration ceremony at the provincial governor’s compound May 28, 2012 in Ghor, Afghanistan. © DOD Photo / Alamy Stock Photo
Long-term steps to renegotiate an inclusive social contract
8. Launch a National Peace Dialogue to address the root causes of the conflict, including transitional justice and women’s meaningful participation, with opportunities for armed and unarmed actors to participate.
9. Establish a high-level independent consultative group on political and economic reform and renewal of the social contract which draws on deliberations in the National Peace Dialogue.
10. Establish a Peace and Security Commission of senior national and international men and women to ensure that Security Sector Reform efforts reinforce the peace process.
Explore these 10 steps in more depth in our Accord Afghanistan Policy Brief
This report is an output of the Political Settlements Research Programme which is funded by the Department for International Development (DFID.)