Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

AAN in the Media

Afghanistan’s Still-Broken Government

2 min

The American Conservative, 23 December 2014

Reporting, among other things, about Secretary Kerry’s role in brokering the government of national unity, the author says:

“For a deeper dive into the details, see the Afghan [sic] Analysts Network’s take.)”

The longer sequences from Martine van Bijlert’s dispatch follow:

According to Martine van Bijlert at AAN, “Ghani and Abdullah have, so far, taken great pains to present the image of a united leadership,” going to Brussels and London in December to convince the international community to continue aid and security partnerships, but the cracks are already showing. Several deadlines to fill the cabinet have already been missed. Meanwhile, the old Karzai cabinet was dismissed from duty in November.

The deal itself might be to blame, as it calls for a perfect split in the appointment of the 25 ministries, each man getting half, but is filled with ambiguities about how to arrive at that split. AAN’s Bijlert writes that while the two have agreed to split up the ministries, they are not yet fully agreed on who gets which posts to fill. And according to AAN, the exact terms of Abdullah’s authority were not made clear in the original agreement, creating another sticking point. As of Friday none of the ministers have been appointed, which leaves the most critical posts like interior, finance, and defense in limbo. […]

Bijlert takes that point one step further, suggesting the donor community is unsettled by the delay in the cabinet.

“The introduction of new faces ahead of the (donor) conference would have been a tangible sign of progress easily understood at home and in donor capitals. It would have been particularly welcome given the contentious and drawn-out election, the lingering uneasiness about whether a dual-headed government will actually work and the morphing of the ISAF mission into the new Mission Resolute Support,” she wrote, noting the new assistance role for the few international troops left behind.

Bijlert added: 

The inauguration of the new government initially led to a sense of optimism among many Afghans. This has been dampened as time passed, particularly with still no ministers appointed who could have started effecting the promised changes. What remains is a mix of hope and disappointment, as the new government, on the one hand, continues to present a sense of dynamism, albeit largely symbolically, and on the other hand, remains bogged down in its own complications.