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Afghan women in burqas vote at a polling station

Civilians will play a large role in reconstruction efforts.

Lessons from Afghanistan

July 2012, Zahl 03.03

“The ever increasing pace of change in the world is not only producing shifts at the strategic level but also has the potential to impact our human domestic environment more and more directly. The challenges we face on the world stage intermingle and overlap, generating composite risks whose implications and effects are not always easy to understand and foresee. The stakes are raised ever higher as increasingly parsimonious budgetary policies have become the norm and national policymakers’ agendas have been increasingly overtaken by domestic priorities. To play a relevant role on the world stage, a nation must thoroughly rethink its approach and reconsider the instruments available for external action. There is an urgent need to reassess and modernize some of the major pillars of traditional foreign action, especially in the area of civilian crisis management.

As we are all aware, nowhere has the interdependency between NATO member countries’ defense and global security trends been more clearly highlighted and the solution more plainly acknowledged than in the Afghan theater of operations...”

Excerpt from Adrian Matei, “Lessons from Afghanistan,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 3, No. 3, 2012: 22-25.

Adrian Matei is a Transatlantic Diplomatic Fellow at the U.S. Department of State, serving as a regional affairs officer in the Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs. He has previously served in the European Union Common Foreign and Security Policy Unit and in the Political Affairs Unit of the Romanian Ministry of External Affairs. Mr. Matei holds a master’s degree in international relations from the National School of Administration and Political Science of Bucharest, and another in European economic and public affairs from University College Dublin. He is a 2006 graduate of the Marshall Center’s Program in Advanced Security Studies.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.