Clare Lockhart

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President Obama has got it right. After taking his time to wrestle with the enormous challenge of defining the US national interest in Afghanistan and its region, he has provided a credible vision of ending the war, stabilising the country and handing over responsibility to Afghan self-rule. His move away from fighting, endorsing General Stanley McChrystal’s analysis, will protect the population and provide a security bridge while Afghan forces are trained.

No country can be run by an army alone. Lasting security in Afghanistan will be provided when Afghans can govern themselves. Mr Obama’s speech balances nurturing Afghan governance at all levels with a tough stance on accountability.…  Seguir leyendo »

The citizens of Afghanistan and their international partners have a second chance to get their partnership right. Leaving now is not on the table; the terrible consequences of leaving Afghanistan to the dogs of war in the 1990s are well known. But to make the partnership work requires a significant change in approach, drawing on lessons both from the last years in Afghanistan and the last decades around the world.

We must recognise that most Afghans just want to live ordinary lives, and the key to stability rests in the ability of Afghans to trust in their future. But we can and must find much smarter ways to support Afghans in their quest for stability.…  Seguir leyendo »