Afghanistan and the Experience of Tajikistan: Useful Lessons

There are, inevitably, different ideas about what can be hoped for in Afghanistan. As usual when the international community gears up, the aims will be lofty: not just governance of sorts where governance has been lacking, but good governance; not just peace, but development. Many involved would admit, however, that an end to hostilities and some sort of administration that more or less holds at the centre is the best that can be hoped for in the foreseeable future.

The World Today
4 minute READ

Lara Griffith

Organization for Security and Co-operation on Europe, focused on civil society development and women's rights

Little media attention has been given to the most relevant international intervention case history for Afghanistan. Not East Timor, and certainly not Kosovo, but the peace process in one of Afghanistan’s northern neighbours, the former Soviet Republic of Tajikistan.

Depending on your point of view, under the circumstances the outcome was good: cessation of hostilities, and yes a government, but of a pretty poor sort. Contemporary Tajikistan offers a sad prognosis for Afghanistan. Its human capital continues to be squandered and the government cannot deliver vital social development and infrastructure. Those in power exert themselves on oppression and control.

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