DEPARTMENT OF GOVERNMENT
COURSE: DEVELOPMENT, STATE BUILDING, HUMAN RIGHTS AND CONFLICT: POLITICS OF WESTERN ASIA AND BEYOND
GV537 ESSAY 2
Why has Afghanistan been so Prone to Conflict?
A large number of world’s poorest countries are currently suffering, or have recently suffered from a large – scale conflicts. One of these countries – Afghanistan – suffers from a series of conflicts that have continued for more than three decades already. This war – torn country is devastated by continuing violence and its future with a peaceful and functioning order is rather questionable. Thus, this paper provides a broad analysis of why Afghanistan has been so prone to conflict. One part of the explanation is that weak and deteriorating governance in Afghanistan is incapable of dealing with conflicts in a professional manner, and it even constitutes as a precondition for insurgencies. It is believed that failure of governance, including weak administration, embedded corruption in state institutions and state’s inability to provide security fuels insurgent groups, and, as a result, it impedes to stop this array of never – ending conflicts (make this sentence shorter). Moreover, it is widely recognised that illicit economy, particularly drug economy, extends the duration of conflicts and is linked to the insurgency as well. And thus, after a brief overview of conflicts of Afghanistan, this paper is going to analyse whether it is true that a failure of governance and illicit economy are the key factors that make Afghanistan a conflict – ridden country (make this sentence shorter).
Overview of Conflicts in Afghanistan
At the beginning of the twentieth century, no one would have said that Afghanistan is a country, highly devastated by the continuation of violent conflicts. It is because of the fact (The phrase because of the fact that can be too wordy for many contexts. Consider using more succinct wording) that during the Second World War it remained neutral and was not involved in any armed conflicts. (Maley, 2009) However, this peaceful order fell apart in 1978. From that point, Afghanistan has experienced three decades of conflicts, including the Soviet invasion, Mujahideen insurgent groups, Taliban takeover, Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden’s terrorism, and the U.S. invasion. Before the takeover of Taliban, violent conflicts created a number of negative consequences to the state of Afghanistan. ‘Years of war and lawlessness had destroyed much of the country, driven millions of its people into exile, and brought its economy to a standstill.’ (Goodson, 2001:4) The period when the Taliban has come to existence is sometimes referred as stable despite its abusive treatment of women and massacres on civilians. It is mainly because during the Taliban rule, Afghanistan experienced a relative stability and order. (Bajoria & Laub, 2013) However, according to Zain, ‘More recently, the US invasion has made Afghanistan a land of seemingly unending turmoil and constant crisis.’ (Zain, 2006:79)
Even though, the international community is trying to rebuild conflict – ridden Afghanistan, future of the country is still highly obscure. The current pro-US government of Afghanistan finds it difficult to ‘win hearts and minds’ of the Afghan people. (Zain, 2006) Moreover, absence of functioning government, general lawlessness, and role of illicit economy in public’s life, all has contributed to the conflicting interests of parties that are unable to trust each other and establish a scenario of how to end the array of conflicts Afghanistan has experienced so far (make the sentence shorter). Thus, these impediments, explaining why Afghanistan has been so prone to conflict for few decades will be analysed more in detail in the following sections.
Failure of Governance
Governance can be referred to a ‘set of institutions by which authority in a country is exercised.’ (WGI, 2013) Scholarly literature argues that weak and