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In June 2007, the RAND Corporation and the Royal Danish Defence College hosted a conference titled “Afghanistan: State and Society, Great Power Politics, and the Way Ahead”. The two-day event, held in Copenhagen, was attended by more than 100 politicians, scholars, academics, and representative of both governmental and nongovernmental institutions from more than 20 states. Its theme was to discuss the problems that Afghanistan faces in the wake of the U.S.-led attack on al Qaeda training camps and the Taliban government; examine the challenges confronting the NATO International Security Assistance Force as it coordinates nation-building activities in Afghanistan; and suggest ways to address these issues. This volume compiles 11 of the papers presented at the conference; themes include the importance of historical precedents, coordination among relevant parties, and the development of an all-encompassing, long-term strategic approach.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    U.S. Interests and Stakes in Afghanistan: In for the Long Haul or Gone Tomorrow?

  • Chapter Three

    Understanding Iranian Strategy in Afghanistan

  • Chapter Four

    Afghanistan and the Boomerang Effect

  • Chapter Five

    Hokumat Versus Yaghistan: The Historical Challenge of State/Tribe Conflict to State Building in Afghanistan

  • Chapter Six

    The Tribal Structure of Waziristan: Implications for Counterterrorism Policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan

  • Chapter Seven

    Sad Wisdom of Hindsight: Soviet Intervention in Afghanistan (1979-1989)

  • Chapter Eight

    The Next Afghanistan

  • Chapter Nine

    Are We Learning? Military Engagement: The Taliban, Past and Present

  • Chapter Ten

    Afghanistan: Prospects for Nation Building

  • Chapter Eleven

    How to Create a Success for the Afghan National Security Forces

  • Chapter Twelve

    Afghanistan at the Crossroads

This research was conducted within the Initiative for Middle Eastern Youth and the RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy. The Initiative for Middle Eastern Youth is funded by donations from private individuals and sources in the State of Qatar.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Conference proceeding series. RAND conference proceedings present a collection of papers delivered at a conference or a summary of the conference.

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