Council on Foreign Relations Press
Council Special Report No. 12
Afghanistan’s Uncertain Transition argues that Afghanistan is still far from stability.
While the country has reestablished basic institutions of government, it has barely started to make them work. The government and its international supporters are challenged by a terrorist insurgency that has become more lethal and effective and that has bases in Pakistan, a drug trade that dominates the economy and corrupts the state, and pervasive poverty and insecurity. The Afghanistan Compact, approved in January 31, 2006, provides a road map for security, governance, and development over the next five years. The United States should take the lead in ensuring full funding and implementation of the Afghanistan Compact, and develop a coherent strategy toward the Afghanistan-Pakistan relationship. This strategy would entail pushing the Pakistani government to arrest Taliban leaders whose locations are provided by intelligence agencies and taking aggressive measures to close down the networks supporting suicide bombers.
This report was translated into Spanish by the Real Instituto Elcano.
Read articles about the report in the Gulf Times and the Daily Times (Pakistan).
“Rubin, the best of a handful of American scholars on Afghanistan before September 11, still knows Afghanistan better than anyone else.”
—New York Review of Books
“Rubin is perhaps the most authoritative scholar on Afghanistan in the United States. ... The fact that several of Rubin’s recommendations have already been implemented is a testament to his work. If followed, Barnett Rubin’s panoply of recommendations in such areas as security, governance, rule of law, economics and social development would go a long way.”
—Survival, journal of the International Institute for Strategic Studies
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Barnett R. Rubin is director of studies and senior fellow at the Center on International Cooperation at New York University. From November to December 2001, he served as adviser to the UN special representative of the secretary-general for Afghanistan, Lakhdar Brahimi, during the negotiations that produced the Bonn Agreement. From 1994 to 2000, he was director of the Center for Preventive Action and director of peace and conflict studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York.
Previously, Dr. Rubin was associate professor of political science and director of the Center for the Study of Central Asia at Columbia University, Jennings Randolph peace fellow at the United States Institute of Peace, and assistant professor of political science at Yale University. He is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on Afghanistan, conflict prevention, and peacebuilding, and is the author of several books, including Blood on the Doorstep: The Politics of Preventing Violent Conflict (2002); Calming the Ferghana Valley: Development and Dialogue in the Heart of Central Asia (1999); and The Search for Peace in Afghanistan: From Buffer State to Failed State (1995).