March 23, 2011

How to end the war in Afghanistan?

From The AfPak Channel by Andrew Lebovich -
Today, the New York-based Century Foundation International Task Force has released its final report on political negotiations in Afghanistan. While on the surface much of it seems relatively anodyne, it goes further than other prominent reports in describing the outlines of a potential settlement, and proposes a high-level peace process lead by a neutral party. More importantly, it represents the final result of a yearlong process of extensive consultations in Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan. As a result, the report has already generated discussion in diplomatic circles, not least of all because of the speculation as to whether Lakhdar Brahimi, the former UN representative in Afghanistan and one of the task force's co-chairs, might be appointed as the international peace envoy whose creation the report advocates.

The task force's second co-chair was another diplomatic heavyweight, Thomas Pickering, a former U.S. ambassador to the UN. The rest of the task force is a notably international group that includes Franscesc Vendrell, a former EU representative in Afghanistan, Afghanistan expert and author Steve Coll, and members from Turkey, Russia, Germany, France, Spain, Japan and China.

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