Afghanistan & Iraq: Lessons from Afghanistan and Iraq

Issue Date July 2010
Volume 21
Issue 3
Page Numbers 41-49
file Print
arrow-down-thin Download from Project MUSE
external View Citation

Three main lessons may be drawn from the postconflict democratic transitions in Afghanistan and Iraq. First, the rules of the game need to be designed in such a way that they produce political dynamics responsive to the host country’s challenges. Second, external actors should continually engage local leaders and steer them toward political strategies that move their countries forward. Third, organization and mobilization of constructive political forces are crucial. At a minimum, the United States should do more to encourage democratic forces to coalesce in order to exert greater influence.

About the Author

Zalmay Khalilzad is president of Khalilzad Associates and counselor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. In addition to other diplomatic and government appointments, he served as special presidential envoy (2002–2005) and U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan (2003–2005), and as U.S. ambassador to Iraq (2005–2007), after which he became U.S permanent representative to the United Nations, serving until 2009.

View all work by Zalmay Khalilzad