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The Fletcher School Online Journal on Southwest Asia and Islamic Civilization

Fall 2008

InterviewwithSaidT.Jawad,AfghanistansAmbassadortotheUS: WheretheRoadEndstheTalibanBegins MichaelMylrea

Southwest Asia is experiencing an epoch of unprecedented change. Every day it appears history ebbs and flows. Both uncertainty and optimism are in the air. While globalization has spurredeconomicdevelopmentandsocialreform, instability continues to present security challenges. With upcoming presidential elections in Afghanistan looming there is much at stake. Many are questioning the future of this dynamic region:Howcurrentchangesunderwaywillaffect regional security, economic development and relationsvisvistheWest? One thing is for sure, Afghanistan will play an important role in determining the future of Southwest Asia. Afghanistan is a country made up of a diverse mosaic of cultures at the crossroads of Asia, trade, culture and civilization. The destiny of Afghanistan has long been interconnected to important regional events from the conquest of Alexander the Great to the collapse of the Soviet Union to todays frontline ontheUSledwaronterrorism. Said T. Jawad, Afghanistans Ambassador to the United States, offered his first hand perspective to al Nakhlah on how Islam, democracy, economic development and security challenges will shape the future of Afghanistan. Prior to his appointment as Ambassador, he served as the Presidents Press Secretary, Chief of Staff as well as the Director of the Office of International Relations at the Presidential Palace. Ambassador Jawad has worked closely with President Karzai in implementing policies, building national institutions and prioritizing reforms in Afghanistan. He also worked with the U.S. and Afghan military experts to help reform the Ministry of Defense and rebuild the Afghan National Army. Among his many accomplishments, he wasinstrumental in drafting

Michael Mylrea, MALD 2009, works as co editorinchiefforalNakhlah.Heisaresearchdirector for oil and gas at a private thinktank, and conducts research at Harvard and MIT Lincoln Lab. This summer he worked on policy and security issues in the MiddleEastandWashingtonD.C.

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al Nakhlah
Afghanistans foreign investment laws and draftingAfghanistansnewconstitution.

What role will Islam play in the future of Afghanistan?

Afghans are moderate Muslims and religion has historically played in important role in After the Soviets were defeated in Afghanistan. The role of Islam has become more Afghanistan, the Afghan people demanded very prominent in Afghan society after the invasion of clearly the engagement and assistance of the Soviet Union and resistance against the western counties to stay and help build the communist which had strong religious country; but this did not take place. It wasnt componenttoit.Todayterroristsaretryingtouse until later, when the terrorist that occupied Islam and religion as a pretext to attack freedom, Afghanistan reached places like New York and Afghans, and the international community. We as Washington that the international community the government of Afghanistan are working to came to help the Afghan people get rid of a capitalize on the views of religion and Islam tyranny imposed by the terrorists and based on peace and Taliban. Certainly the presence of the The current reconciliationinordertobuild internationalcommunityisnotpartof prosperous and prolific constitution of a colonial design. The West has societyinourcountry. Afghanistan is an enabled the Afghan people to build example of combining religious institutions and stand on theirownfeet. traditional religious

Some Islamists argue that the secular state is a continuation of Western imperialism. This is partly driven by the assumption that the state has surrendered to international capital in the form of aid. What role should the West play in its relationship with Afghanistan to counter these notions?

Some Islamists believe Muslim countries should values with a forward How does Afghanistan develop a society that is looking constitution incorporate sharia law into its inspired by early Islamic based on pluralism and government and rule of law and history, symbolism and grow as a modern democratic human rights. ideals. What challenges state? does Afghanistan face in incorporating this increasingly popular The constitution is very clear on that issue. dynamic of Islamic revivalism as it Afghanistan has one of the most liberal progresses as a modern state?
constitutions in the region. Afghanistan has a codified system that means we have penal, commercial and civil code. The constitution and secondary laws in Afghanistan do comply with the requirement of Islamic jurisprudence, but in the current law in Afghanistan the civil law has been adopted. Sharia has been a supported source of law, but the task has always been really how to combine the two sources of jurisprudence both civil and constitution code and Islamic laws in a way to build a plural society and respect human rights. Its a hard struggle and a difficult path to be taken. Afghanistan is just one of the countries that is working hard to achieve this. A similar struggle has historically taken place in

Thechallengewearefacingistobuilda modernstatebasedonpluralismandrespectfor humanrightswithlimitedhumancapitalanda lackofexpertsinAfghanistan.Anotherchallenge wefaceisthattheterroristandextremistsare tryingtoclaimtheyarethebeareroftheflagof Islam.Anditsuptoustoshowthatmany values,includingfreedom,pluralismand prosperityarethingstheAfghanpeopledemand, deserveandhaveshownarecompatiblewith theirreligiousandIslamicvalues.Afghanshave proventhattheyareabletolivewithlivewith religiousvalueswhileworkinghardtobuild prosperityandpluralisminAfghanistan.

The Fletcher School al Nakhlah Tufts University

Fall 2008
Europe and other counties, and we have our own challenges to overcome these issues. We have made a lot of progress and the current constitution of Afghanistan is an example of combining traditional religious values with a forward looking constitution based on pluralism andhumanrights.

When tensions arise between Islam and democracy visa via the constitution of Afghanistan? Does Islam or constitutional law take precedent?
Theconstitutionisthefundamentallegal documentthatsetsforththeprincipalsofthelegal systemandpoliticalvisionforthefutureofthe country.Butthatconstitutionisbeingdrafted withclosecooperationwithbothsecularexperts andreligiousfigures.Butlikeanycountry,the constitutionistheguidingdocumentforboth legalandpoliticaldirectionofthecountry.

refugees and established an important trade network through Afghanistan to Central Asia. Opponents, however, complain that a larger number of Pakistan's intelligence and security branch have established close ties to the Taliban regime and continue to destabilize the Government of Afghanistan. What can be done to foster peace and stability between both countries and in the region?
TheAfghanandPakistanipeoplesee extremismandterrorismastherealenemyofour peopleandgovernments.Wehavebeenasking ourfriendsinPakistanforamoresincere cooperationtofightextremismandterrorismboth inAfghanistanandPakistan.Weclaimthatany kindoftoleranceorsupportforextremistgroups forthesakeofpoliticalgainsisdangerousfor bothourcountriesandtheregionandworldwill payaheavypriceforthat.However,wearevery muchencouragedbythe We think that a recentelectionsin stable and Pakistan.Wearereally lookingforwardto prosperous workingwithanew Afghanistan will primeministerand be the best friend governmentofPakistan of Pakistan tofightextremismin because our bothcountiesina resoluteandsincere stability is manner. interconnected.

How will Afghanistan handle the next presidential elections?

Thenextpresidentialelectionisscheduled inabout18months.TheAfghanconstitution allowsdirectvotebyallAfghancitizens.The preparationisunderway,butholdinganelection isacostlyexerciseforAfghanistan.Weare workingwithourpartnersintheUNanddonor communitytoraisethefundsneededfor provincialelectionwhichrunscloseto400million dollars.TherearediscussionsinAfghanistanto combineprovincialandparliamentaryelection intooneprocesstosavemoney.Thisisfully technicalandfinancialandthegovernmentand theparliamentofAfghanistanwilldecideifthisis therightcourse.

How will relations between Afghanistan and Pakistan benefit by creating an environment of security and stability?
Wethinkthatastableandprosperous AfghanistanwillbethebestfriendofPakistan becauseourstabilityandprosperityis interconnected.ThiswillprovidePakistanwith anopportunitytoexportproductsintocentral Asiaandbenefitfromenergythatisavailablein CentralAsia.AstablePakistanwillinsure AfghanistansecureandeasyaccesstotheIndian Ocean.Wearereallyseekingthebestpossible relationswithPakistanforthesakeofournational interest.Wewillnotbeabletorebuild Afghanistanunlesswehavegoodsincerepolitical andeconomicrelationswithPakistan.

Afghan-Pakistani relations have fluctuated over a number of issues, such as: the Durand Line, the war on terror, and Afghanistan's close relationship with India. Proponents of establishing better relations note that Pakistan has given considerable aid and relief to Afghan

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al Nakhlah What are some of the challenges in doing that?

Therearesomehistoriccomplicationsin relationswiththegovernmentandtheextremist elementsinPakistan.Sometimesthisisexploited fortacticalpoliticalgain,whichhascaused strategiclosesandpreventedthefightagainst extremism.Thecontinuedoperationsofthe Talibanandterroristshavemadeitdifficultfor thetwocountriestoovercomethesechallenges. internationalcommunityunderestimatedthe amountofinvestmentandamountofsecurity forcesthatwereneededtofacethosechallenges. Andlikemanyotherpostconflictcountriesthere hasbeenwasteinthewaythatthemoneywas spentanddifficultiesbytheAfghangovernment toclearlyindicatetheprioritiesofAfghanistan andformalizetheminanationaldevelopment strategy.And,thelackoftheseproperunified strategiesledtowasteinthewaythemoneywas spent.

What can be done to make aid and Afghanistan has engaged in cordial development efforts in Afghanistan more relations with both Iran and the United effective? States, even as relations There are some historic between the two continues to Aidassistance complications in relations deteriorate over American shouldbeusedto objections to Iran's nuclear with the government and the buildthecapacityof program and support for theAfghan extremist elements in extremists. What role can government todeliver Pakistan. Sometimes this is Afghanistan play in bringing services.Thiswill exploited for tactical political these two countries together showthepeopleof and creating security and gain, which has caused Afghanistanthe stability in the region?
While relations between U.S. and Iran have historic complications, we dont think that we will be in a position to play an important role in brining the two countries together. We are asking for both Washington and Tehran to leave their differences out of Afghanistan. We are asking our friends in TehranandWashingtonbothtoworktoallowthe Afghan people to rebuild The real drug their institutions and to money is not at work together in the reconstruction process of the hand of the Afghanistan. farmer, but at

strategic loses in the fight againstextremism.

rewardsof participatinginthe politicalprocessof electingofficials.Itsalsoareminderthatthe peoplehaveavoiceinthewaythatthemoneyis beingspentandknowledgeaboutwherethe projectsarebeingbuilt.

What lessons were learned in the last six years of state building?

the hand of the processor and traffickers.

Can you touch on the recent report by Oxfam criticizing aid efforts in Afghanistan? The report suggests that more than half of all aid is conditional on the procurement of resources from donor countries and that projects appear to be launched without consulting the local 2 people and lack transparency.
TheNGOsinAfghanistanhavetofacethe realityontheground.Thereisnodoubtthereisa needformoretransparency.Thereisaneedfor gettingmorevalueoutofeachdollarthatisbeing usedinAfghanistan.Butwealsoshouldnot forgetthattheworkingenvironmentbothfor governmentandNGOsisadifficultone.Thereis ashortageofhumancapitalandsecurityis challenging.Butconsideringallofthesefactors

Mistakesweremadeonbothsidesbecause ofashortageinhumancapitalandqualified people.Wedidntreallyknowthemagnitudeof destructionthatAfghanistanhasundergone.The

The Fletcher School al Nakhlah Tufts University

Fall 2008
Thebeststrategyistopreventcultivation insteadoffocusingoneradication.Thebestway toaccomplishthisistoprovideanalternative livelihoodandtakesomepeopleoutof agribusiness.Givethemachancetohave How can Afghanistan overcome the recent anotherjoblikebuildingroadsanddamsthat increase in security challenges? generateelectricity.Andforthosethatcontinue toremainactiveinagriculturemakesurethat WhentheAfghanforces,NATOandthe whatevertheygrowthattheirlegitimatecrophas internationalcoalitioncarryoutmilitary amarketandabuyer.Analternativecropproject operationstheyareusuallysuccessful:theTaliban willonlysucceedifwehaveroads,transport,and aredefeatedquicklyandgenerallypushedaside. markettosell.Andthiswillonlysucceedifwe Theproblemisthatifyoudontdeliver continuebuildingrule services,anddontbackupmilitary It is very important that oflaw,interdiction operationswithdevelopmentthenthe every military operation effortsandgoingafter terroristswillcomebackandalltheefforts bigtraffickers.Thereal is followed by ofmilitaryoperationarewasted.Itisvery drugmoneyisnotat importantthateverymilitaryoperationis development activity. thehandofthefarmer, followedbydevelopmentactivity.In butatthehandofthe In Afghanistan where Afghanistanwheretheroadendsthe processorand the road ends the TalibanBegins. traffickers. Taliban Begins. therehavebeenanumberofprojectsthathave implementedinaverysuccessfulandcost effectivewaybothbytheNGOsandgovernment, suchastheNationalSolidarityProgram.

What kind of development projects are the most beneficial?

Developmentactivityshouldinclude settingoutoperationalcourtssystemtodeliver justice,schools,clinics,supportingthe government,andmakingsurepolicehavea strongpresenceintheregion.Afteramilitary operationisoverthepeoplelivingthereshould feelthereisapositivedifferencebetweenthe terroristandthepresenceoftheinternational communityintermsofdevelopmentanddelivery ofservices.Thatistheonlywaywecangettheir supportandthatswhyitsveryimportantto conductproperlymilitaryoperationswith developmentactivities.

A recent project between local cotton growers and Chemonics, an international development consulting firm, planned to create thousands of jobs in Afghanistan, but due to a congressional ban on competitive agriculture projects it was denied funding. Does this suggest that some U.S. policies prevent Afghanistan from realizing their economic and security efforts?
Anumberofcongressionalamendments preventsupportforcertainagricultureproducts inAfghanistan.Alotofthesefundingissuesare legaciesconnectedtotheColdWarandother domesticpoliciesandprioritiesofU.S.congress andgovernment.Thereisaneedafter911to lookintoissuesofforeignassistanceandremove someoftheoldimpedimentsthatpreventsome verygoodprojectsfrombeingimplementedin postconflictcountrieslikeAfghanistan.

The poppy trade in Afghanistan has been growing rapidly despite over $1.6 billion in counter narcotics spending by the U.S. government and over $500 million by the United Kingdom. Over 90% of the worlds illicit opium originates in Afghanistan, and poppy accounts for 52% of the nations economy. How can you counter narcotics in Afghanistan when the economy is so reliant on poppy growth?

A number of security experts have suggested that al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden is hiding in the North West Frontier Province bordering Afghanistan and Pakistan. Can you address this concern

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al Nakhlah and touch on your thoughts on the challenges of securing this region?
producesDVDs,tapesandinternetmoviesthat supporttheiroperationsandaffiliates.This propagandacampaignisusedtorecruitmembers, usinganideologythatcapitalizesonpovertyand ignorance.

WearelookingforOsamaBinLadenandal QaedainAfghanistanandsoistheU.S.military andintelligenceandNATO.Ithinkifhewerein Afghanistanhewouldhavebeenfoundbynow. Despite these continuing challenges do FindinghimisabigpriorityfortheAfghani you have an optimistic vision for Afghanistan in 30 years?What are the community,intelligenceandmilitary.BinLaden short and long term goals? What is the ismostlikelyhidinginmajormetropolitan road map for the future? centersinPakistanwherewefoundsome ofhis colleaguesandassociatesinthepast.Andifyou Afghanistanislocatedinastrategicpartof lookwherewefoundhisfriendsandassociatesits the world. TheAfghanpeoplearemoderateand notbeenmainlyinAfghanistan,but.Ithasnot theyarepragmaticwhichiswhytheyhavea evenbeenintribalareas.Soconsideringthefact strongwillingnesstopartnerwiththe thattheheadofalQaedaneedstobeconnectedto internationalcommunity. hisfollowersandthe Afghanistanprovidesagood world,itwouldbereally Bin Laden is most likely locationforourfriendsandpartners hardtohideinaremote hiding in major metropolitan andtheycancountonthepeople caveinAfghanistan. centers in Pakistan where andgovernmentofAfghanistanto be alongtermpartner.Prospectsof we found some of his You have previously peacedependonthecontinuing said that Afghanistan colleagues and associates engagementoftheinternational and the region as a in the past. whole would be better communityparticularlytheUnited off if the Taliban Statesinhelpingtobuildinstitutions.Ifthe would return, denounce violence and UnitedStatesandinternationalcommunitymake embrace pluralism. This appears to be a largeinvestmentsinbuildingAfghaninstitutions unique method of using conflict resolution thepressurewillberelievedforthemtokeeplong as an important tool in the war on terror. termmilitarypresenceinAfghanistan.The Can you talk more about the reconciliation Afghanpeoplearelookingtotakechargeoftheir process with the Taliban? destinyandwillprovetobeareliablepartnerto theU.S.andtherestoftheworldduringthese Thereconciliationprocessisasuccessin challengingtimesinadifficultpartofAsia. Afghanistan.Sofarover5,000Talibanhave joined.Wearereadytotalkandreconcile The views and opinions expressed in articles are membersoftheTalibanthatrespecttheAfghan strictly the authors own, and do not necessarily constitution.Thereconciliationprocessis represent those of al Nakhlah, its Advisory and challengingbecausetheyhaveaneffectivesource Editorial Boards, or the Program for Southwest Asia ofindoctrinationthatishardtoeliminate.The and Islamic Civilization (SWAIC) at The Fletcher TalibanandalQaedauseaverysophisticated School. mediapropagandaoperationcalledAsSahabthat

The Fletcher School al Nakhlah Tufts University

Fall 2008 Works Cited

1OxfamReportCitesConcernsonAfghanistan.January31,2008.Accessedat onafghanistanonApril20,2008. 2CIAWorldFactBookMaps,Accessedat factbook/geos/af.htmlonSeptember30,2008

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