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Afghan experiences of the international engagement: Narratives from Helmand and Kunar

This paper explores Afghan experiences of international engagement and intervention in the post-2001 period in Kunar and Helmand provinces. The paper proceeds in three parts. The first examines the role of customary authority and dispute resolution mechanisms in Afghanistan over the preceding decades, before turning to the post-2001 period. The second looks at the international intervention through the eyes of Afghans, exploring what they felt the problems and contradictions were in the international community (a phrase used here loosely to denote the international military, international organisations and donor-funded actors or initiatives) and Republic’s approach to bringing security and peace. The concluding section then further explores implications of the mismatch between the international community’s stated objectives, and the ultimate consequences for Afghans.

Published: 08 August 2022

Authors: Rahmatullah Amiri, Ashley Jackson

About the authors

Rahmatullah Amiri

Research Consultant

Rahmatullah Amiri is a Senior Researcher with The Liaison Office (TLO) in Kabul and also works as a freelance consultant. He has more than 13 years of experience as a researcher and analyst in Afghanistan and Pakistan (KPK especially Tribal belt and Baluchistan) focusing on Peace, reconciliation, humanitarian access, social-political issues, security, armed non-state actors, and counter-violent extremism. He holds a BA in Political Science and Public Administration from the American University of Afghanistan (AUAF)

Ashley Jackson

Research Adviser

Ashley is a Research Associate with the Politics and Governance Programme at ODI, and Co-Director of the ODI-hosted Centre for the Study of Armed Groups.