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.
Insurgency and Counterinsurgency in South Asia underscores the need for South Asian decision makers and relevant actors around the world to systematically examine the nature of intrastate insurgent movements. Using the "conflict curve" theory of conflict evolution, ten experts native to South Asia consider the trajectories of four of the most salient armed insurgencies in a region that has experienced many such sustained conflicts and the counterinsurgent response to each. Case studies on India, Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka lend important lessons on the dynamics of each conflict while collectively offering insights into how and why insurgencies occur and transform as well as how they can be prevented or resolved.
Through a peacebuilding lens, the contributors ask, What incentives led resentful groups to resort to armed insurgency? And, once insurgency was under way, how was it managed?
While many studies of insurgency and counterinsurgency emphasize military tactics and terrorism responses, this volume hones in on policy-relevant conclusions pertinent to the peacebuilding field. Detailed maps created especially for this volume illustrate conflict regions. Emphasizing nonviolent means to prevent or mitigate conflict, Yusuf and the contributors highlight the opportunities and constraints in applying peacebuilding approaches across the conflict curve, identifying recommendations for the disputing parties as well as for peacebuilders.
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.