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Partner in development

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Partner in development

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Samenvatting

The Afghan government is the subject of this contribution, which investigates how
it has developed over time, what the efforts of recent years to build it up have resulted
in, and – its actual objective– what it means for foreign militaries, such as the Dutch in
Uruzgan at present, to have a weak state as their partner. This is an important issue in
the present international security situation. There are many more weak (or failing) states
in the world and in many countries there are areas where the influence of the state’s
administration is virtually non-existent.2 Apart from the fact that in the coming years the
Dutch armed forces will be involved in Afghanistan in one way or another, it is likely
that in the future they will also be committed in other areas with a weak administration.
Therefore, being able to operate in an area with a poorly developed government has
become an important ability for the Dutch armed forces - Uruzgan offers enough material
to draw important lessons from.
In the first section the history of the Afghan government up to the American-led
intervention in 2001 will be described, while the second section goes into what has
happened since. This is followed by a description of the situation in Uruzgan since the
Dutch began to play an active large-scale role there. The fourth section discusses the
state of affairs with regard to the role of the Afghan government in the period before,
during and after the ‘battle for Chora’ in June 2007, when the Dutch fought a large-scale
battle against the Taliban. This makes clear what it in ultimo means for a foreign military
to have a weak state as a partner. The final section presents conclusions and formulates
several lessons learned, followed by a reflection on the future of Afghanistan and its
government.
This chapter does not make use of any theories, models or specific research methods.
On the basis of various types of public sources an attempt is made to describe what happened.
There is enough literature available on the general history of Afghanistan and its
government. Statistical and other quantitative data on the development of the Afghan
state, in particular, can be found in the reports and studies of Afghan, foreign and international
organisations. These have to be met with suspicion, just like media coverage,
as they tend to be politically biased. For the developments in Uruzgan the reports for
the Dutch Parliament form an important source, while most information on the clashes
334
around Chora can be found in newspaper articles, websites and in the writings of the
servicemen directly involved in them. The intention of this contribution is not to give
any judgment on the quality of the Dutch or foreign (military) efforts to build up the
Afghan government. That would require much more elaborate research. Nevertheless,
some conclusions can be drawn with regard to what matters in military operations in
weak states.

Toon meer
OrganisatieNederlandse Defensie Academie
OpleidingFaculteit Militaire Wetenschappen
InstituutKrijgswetenschappen
Gepubliceerd inComplex operations: studies on Lebanon (2006) and Afghanistan (2006-present) Faculty of Military Sciences of the NLDA, Faculty Research Office, Breda, Vol. 2009, Pagina's: 333-356
Jaar2009
TypeBoekdeel
ISSN1387-8050
TaalEngels

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