USIP Press Books
December 2013
348 pp., 6" x 9"
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As the United States and NATO prepare to withdraw their troops from Afghanistan in 2014, the question remains as to what sort of political settlement the Afghanistan government and the Taliban can reach in order to achieve sustainable peace. If all parties are willing to strike a deal, how might the negotiations be structured, and what might the shape of that deal be? Getting It Right in Afghanistan addresses the real drivers of the insurgency and how Afghanistan's neighbors can contribute to peace in the region.

A recurring theme throughout the volume is the complex, multiactor conflict environment in Afghanistan and the resulting need for more inclusive political arrangements. The first set of chapters focus on internal political dynamics and Afghan political actors' views on a peace process. The second section covers Afghanistan's neighbors and their role in shaping the country's internal politics. Efforts to date to implement a peace and reconciliation process for Afghanistan are covered in the final section. Taken together, the book conveys the complexity and challenge of building an enduring and stable political consensus in Afghanistan's fragmented environment.

Since beginning work in Afghanistan in 2002, the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) has been informing policy through accurate, clear analysis of the conflict that could shape a negotiated settlement. Comprising a collection of its analysis from 2002 to the present, Getting It Right in Afghanistan offers valuable insights to the policymakers charged with developing a new course of action for contributing to peace in Afghanistan and regional stability.

Scott Smith is the deputy director for USIP's Afghanistan program. Formerly at the United Nations, he is the author of Afghanistan's Troubled Transition: Politics, Peacekeeping and the 2004 Presidential Election.

Moeed Yusuf is director of South Asia programs at USIP. He has taught at Boston University and Quaid-e-Azam University, Pakistan and has previously been affiliated with the Brookings Institution and the Harvard Kennedy School.

A former research analyst at the Center for American Progress, Colin Cookman is a research contractor for USIP. He also served as a member of Democracy International's election observation team during the 2010 parliamentary elections in Afghanistan.


  • Introduction - Scott Smith, Moeed Yusuf, and Colin Cookman
  • Making Peace in Afghanistan: The Missing Political Strategy - Mina Jarvenpaa
  • Afghan Perspectives on Achieving Durable Peace - Hamish Nixon
  • The Politics of Dispute Resolution and Continued Instability in Afghanistan - Noah Coburn
  • Dangerous Liaisons with the Afghan Taliban: The Feasibility and Risks of Negotiations - Matt Waldman
  • Afghanistan and Its Neighbors: An Ever Dangerous Neighborhood - Marvin G. Weinbaum
  • Resolving the Pakistan-Afghanistan Stalemate - Barnett R. Rubin and Abubakar Siddique
  • Pakistan, the United States and the End Game in Afghanistan: Perceptions of Pakistan's Foreign Policy Elite - Moeed Yusuf, Huma Yusuf, and Salman Zaidi
  • Regional Politics and the Prospects for Stability in Afghanistan - Sunil Dasgupta
  • Thwarting Afghanistan's Insurgency: A Pragmatic Approach toward Peace and Reconciliation - Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai
  • Impact or Illusion? Reintegration under the Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Program - Deedee Derksen
  • Designing a Comprehensive Peace Process for Afghanistan - Lisa Schirch
  • Beyond Power-Sharing: Institution Options for an Afghan Peace Process - Hamish Nixon and Caroline Hartzell

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