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Is Afghanistan on the Brink of a New Civil War? Possible Scenarios and Influencing Factors in the Transition Process


Citha D. Maaß und Thomas Ruttig, SWP Briefing 2011/A 40, August 2011, 4 p.

In July 2011, the transition of security responsibility to the Afghan government has begun. While NATO states accompany this process with calculated optimism, the authors write, four rather negative scenarios are looming: continuation of the rule of a ‚power oligarchy’ in the current composition (option 1) or with political participation oft he Taleban (option 2). The descent into another civil war after 2014, the expected end date of the ISAF mandate, is also possible (option 3) or the re-establishment oft he Taleban Emirate (option 4). Which scenario will materialise, depends on a number of factors: internal Afghan risks, the future ISAF strategy in the asymetrical war and the form of a long-term US engagement in Afghanistan. The authors are pessimistic about realistic external and internal conditions for a more positive scenario, an end of the conflict and better governance. There is also the German original available (see here).

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Is Afghanistan on the Brink of a New Civil War? Possible Scenarios and Influencing Factors in the Transition Process

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