Afghanistan's transition: challenges and opportunities for peace

Capacities for Peace project

The 14-year international military engagement in Afghanistan is winding down, with significant challenges remaining alongside the considerable gains. Primary among these is the continuing conflict between the government and the Taliban and allied groups, which could reverse the development gains to date.

Afghanistan’s transition needs focused leadership and genuine commitment to Afghan society, with appropriate international support. The international drawdown necessarily entails a reduction in resources allocated to the country. However, it also provides an opportunity to avoid past mistakes by engaging on fewer areas of work, bringing spending more in line with Afghan absorptive capacity and being more strategic and coherent. Support for the participation of Afghan civil society and citizens in peacebuilding processes needs to be a core tenet of this strategy.

This briefing examines key challenges and opportunities to Afghanistan’s peace and security in coming years and considers the role Afghan civil society can play in helping the country progress towards a more peaceful transition, looking at areas including governance, security sector, the position of women, and the dilemmas of international support.

Download Afghanistan's transition: challenges and opportunities for peace

Capacities for Peace is a project undertaken by Saferworld and Conciliation Resources and funded by the EU Instrument for Stability.

“Afghan CSOs have come a long way, benefiting from international support, in terms of increasing capacity to engage at the policy as well as at the community level.”