Afghan Peace Will Require a Neighborly Concert

PRIO Policy Brief

Harpviken, Kristian Berg (2021) Afghan Peace Will Require a Neighborly Concert, PRIO Policy Brief, 1. Oslo: PRIO.

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At a time when concerted neighborly action for Afghanistan’s future is desperately needed, achieving it seems less realistic than ever. The peace process between the Afghan government and the Taliban will need time to generate lasting solutions. The US is withdrawing militarily – with or without an intra-Afghan peace deal – effectively removing the lid that limited the engagement of neighbors in the conflict. A peaceful Afghanistan carries promise for all neighbors, while continued war brings risks of escalation, even contagion of conflict. Neighbors seem to be preparing for continuing conflicts in Afghanistan rather than investing in a path to peace. Significant political will and courage is needed to overcome the logic wherein conflicts in the regions surrounding Afghanistan are projected onto that country.

The Impact of Gulf Rivalries on the Afghan Peace Process

​In a new policy brief on the importance of a neighborly concert for Afghan peace, Kristian Berg Harpviken examines the present state of affairs in each of the main regions surrounding Afghanistan: Central Asia, South Asia and the Gulf. Qatar, having hosted the intra-Afghan peace talks, currently stands out as the winner, not only because it hosted a high-profile peace process, but also because it has been able to use its relevance to the US in managing the diplomatic offensive of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries over the past several years.

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