What is state failure? See my conceptualisation of state failure on the right flank below.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Kittens on the march

Managing the various actors of peacebuilding is like trying to teach kittens to march in formation. In other words, these actors claim to rally around one flag, but they can be fatally incompatible, and their striving may resemble anything but moving in one and the same direction. Inasmuch as this is a rule, the coalition undertaking in Afghanistan is no exception. Members of this diverse whatever that we call the coalition are all playing the roles they want to play, for the goals they hold dear.
As many may know, towards the end of May, to the ambivalent dismay of many, it was revealed that the Red Cross was providing first-aid training to "members of the armed opposition" in Afghanistan. Well, to the greater happiness of all of humanity (obviously), this may be extremely useful to members of the armed opposition should they be wounded in fighting with any of the militia proxies of the coalition disarmed in UNDP's Afghanistan New Beginnings Programme, such as Commander Matiullah, of NYT fame now. The latter's men have just taken back Gizab district in Uruzgan province together with U.S. and Australian special forces (and perhaps others also on board), but one can guess on the basis of the NYT piece that the U.S. DEA already have their sights on him. The DEA's end goal: a world free of drugs.

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