Building Democracy After Conflict: Bullets, Ballots, and Poppies in Afghanistan

Issue Date January 2005
Volume 16
Issue 1
Page Numbers 24-28
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Mid-course policy adjustments along with building momentum produced progress on key nation-building pillars in Afghanistan by late 2004. A wider role for U.S. and international forces, the growing size of the Afghan security forces, and the diminution of the warlords have combined to gradually increase security. Initially slow reconstruction has picked up the pace, but serious questions remain about the structure of international assistance delivery in post-conflict situation. State-building has seen the most progress, as the graduated transition envisioned by the Bonn Accords continues to achieve important individual targets, such as the January 2004 constitution and October 2004 presidential elections. Important challenges loom for 2005, most notably the persistent anti-Western insurgency, continuing presence of warlords and their militias, booming opium economy, and complex parliamentary elections.

About the Author

Larry P. Goodson is professor of Middle East Studies at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and author of Afghanistan’s Endless War: State Failure, Regional Politics, and the Rise of the Taliban (2001). The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, Department of Defense, or U.S. Government.

View all work by Larry P. Goodson