I have a new piece up at World Politics Review, talking about a program I think might actually work.
What LDIs show is that in Afghanistan, smaller is better. LDI teams themselves do not “solve” problems or impose massive projects on Afghan communities. Instead, they provide local populations the space and responsibility to participate in solving their own problems. That makes talking easier and more effective than fighting. Quite literally, it replaces conflict with politics. And more politics is what Afghan communities need.
The conflict in Afghanistan won’t be ended by “resolving” disagreements or grievances, which are the stuff of life: There will always be disagreements within and between Afghan communities, and Afghans will always have grievances. Instead, the conflict in Afghanistan will end when Afghans step away from violence as a way of dealing with these problems.
Comments, as always, are welcome.