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The destroyed remains of the Darulaman Palace, or Royal Palace, in Kabul, Afghanistan

International donors need to improve their performance.

Working with the Afghans

July 2012, Number 03.03

“In the 20th Century, the international community repeatedly failed to facilitate the stabilization of Afghanistan at crucial stages of its development. This failure has caused a boomerang effect, making subsequent re-engagement by international actors more costly for both the Afghans and the international forces involved. The United States and the United Kingdom did not support the reforms of Afghan King Amanullah Kahn back in the 1920s, and similar opportunities were wasted in the 1950s by ignoring then Prime Minister Mohammad Daud’s cooperation inquiries and his drive for Afghan modernization. As a result, Afghanistan drifted into the Soviet sphere of influence. Later on, the international community did not engage and effectively manage the post-Soviet-Afghan war chaos in the 1990s, a perfect example of how sudden departures can leave behind poorly equipped governments...”

Excerpt from Peteris Veits, “Working with the Afghans,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 3, No. 3, 2012: 26-31.

Peteris Veits has spent most of the past decade in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Latvia that includes posting in Afghanistan as a political/development adviser. He also has served several stints as a European Union elections observer in Sudan, Afghanistan and other countries. He is a 2004 graduate of the Marshall Center course “Leaders of the 21st Century” and holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Vedzime University College in Latvia and a master’s of business administration from Riga Business School.

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