Transitioning Afghanistan in the Post-Withdrawal Era: Setting the Stage for a Stable Political Order

Reza Sanati
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Within the coming year, the American led-NATO mission will begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan. Though the decrease in troop levels in the short-term has been expected for quite some time, the final date wherein all American and NATO troops leave the country is still a matter of heated debate, primarily for two reasons: the inconclusive steadiness of the present Afghan regime and the uncertainty of what a post-withdrawal Afghanistan would like. With this in mind, this article intends to explore the logic of the NATO intervention within that war-torn country. It examines the primary reasons why stability and progress within Afghanistan have been elusive, the current debate amongst policy makers regarding the steps ahead, and finally proposing an alternative model that proposes a new US and NATO regional strategy that places the burden on Afghanistan stability and reconstruction on neighbors who share the larger NATO goal of a self-sufficient and stable Afghan government. It is proposed that the most potentially successful NATO approach towards Afghan stability would adopt the proven economic, social, political, infrastructural, and local governance models of regional states, and honing and adopting those models of domestic governance into the broader Afghan domestic theatre. For this to happen, new plan of cooperation from both NATO and American policy makers with regional states and their respective civil societies needs to be implemented.


NATO, Afghanistan, Middle East, War on Terror

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