Top 10 Themes from USF Af/Pak Conference
(Just from my perspective, of course)
#10: Afghanistan and Pakistan are more complicated than you think (even if you already think they are complicated).
#9: Afghanistan is not Iraq.
#8: The interests and policies of neighboring countries - perhaps especiallyPakistan, India, & Iran - are vital considerations for Afghanistan's long-term success.
#7: Aristotle was right. It is more difficult to organize a peace than to win a war.
#6: Effective governance is probably the biggest and most important infrastructure challenge for Afghanistan.
#5: There is no effective “one-size-fits-all” national governance solution for Afghanistan.
#4: Never underestimate the power of tribes.
#3: The Taliban is neither static nor monolithic.
#2: Available electricity is perhaps the greatest practical challenge for economic development.
#1: Afghanistan could ultimately be a model for how the US and Iran might cooperate toward shared interests. A fascinating proposition offered by Dr. Mohsen Milani, the conference ooordinator.
“The state that does not govern, abdicates its power to those who will.”