SIPRI Yearbook Chapter: Security and Politics in Afghanistan, 2009
Security and politics in Afghanistan: progress, problems and prospects
By Tim Foxley
An increasingly confident insurgency and slow political and economic progress are causing negative perceptions within the international community and frustrations amongst Afghans. A new US strategy, emphasising regional, developmental and political effort as well as military, is encouraging. However, although the commitment of the international community will remain crucial, lack of coordination will continue to hamper progress and ‘war-weariness’ is tangible. Much of the Obama Administration’s ‘regional’ thinking on Afghanistan hinges on Pakistan, but there are arguably even greater problems there. Regrettably, Afghanistan’s fate over the next few years still looks finely balanced. Progress will continue to be fragile.