Welcome – thank them for coming – introduce people around the table Disclaimer and talk about Afghanistan – when you first met an Afghan.
All its history Afghanistan has benefitted and fell prey to its geography. Today there are multiple players engaging in the discussion. Iran is particularly interested in the stability of Afghanistan. First, Iran does not want another wave of refugees. Second, Iran is not comfortable with the US at its doorstep. Third, Iran envisions an alliance from Turkey to China – united via a gas pipeline.
For compliant parties what promises need to be honored to ensure compliance? What sanctions need to be in place if agreements are violated? How do we make sure that all our messaging – from the military and civilian organizations are aligned? Our collaborative confrontations abound – Pres. Karzai, our NATO Allies, within our own government structure – there are layers of confrontations and as policy shifts there is a ripple effect. For example, there was a great deal of ill will created between the US government and President Karzai when the US wanted to fly over poppy fields and eradicate the crop. Now the policy has changed and it is no longer a priority – but the harsh exchanges and the tone of discussions has not warmed since those confrontations.
“ Will it maintain or tolerate local client militias and postpone comprehensively disarming local leaders to avert a large-scale insurgency or will it actively try to establish a state with a reasonable chance of survival beyond a US occupation at the risk of facing a broad insurgency?” page 273 Book by Sinno “ U.S. Embassy and Afghan officials are working to modify the program, called Local Defense Initiatives, to ensure that the Afghan government plays a more central role in how it is run. &quot;We are committed to doing this right, and that means taking the time for the Afghan government and people to decide on whether and how to move ahead,&quot; said Philip Kosnett, the U.S. Embassy's political-military counselor in Kabul. “ from the Washington Post, January 2010