State Strengthening in Afghanistan

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Since 2001, Afghanistan’s political and social landscape has changed dramatically. However, international state-strengthening interventions have arguably had mixed results. Unprecedented aid and assistance has helped the country transition to a nascent democracy, attain a greater level of security, rebuild some of its infrastructure, and open more space for civil society participation. 

But, the diverse approaches taken by multiple actors with varying objectives have sometimes had negative consequences. Moreover, due to competing internal and external motivations and the current trends of declining aid and increasing conflict, the progress achieved may not be sustainable or have a long-term impact. This report by the United States Institute of Peace provides lessons learned in state strengthening from 2001–14, as well as recommendations for current and future interventions.

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