One month after the attacks of September 11, 2001, in October 2001, the United States decided to invade Afghanistan in order to capture AlQaeda mastermind Ossama Ben Laden and to withdraw the Taliban regime. The operation enduring freedom was led by the US, with a majority of forces provided by the Afghan Northern Alliance and supported by NATO members United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, France, New Zealand, Italy and Germany. This operation went particularly quick: on November 12, Taliban forces fled from Kabul and the Northern Alliance entered the city on the 13th. Then, ousting the Taliban was finally easy. The hardest occurred to be providing a satisfying reconstruction of the state, with the built of efficient institutions in a democratic frame. Taking into account the troubled Afghan political past, this task would be a lot tougher. Indeed, when the delegates of the coalition met Afghan representatives in Bonn in December 2001 to decide a political process to restore stability and governance to the country, they understood the complexity of the situation. Afghanistan is religiously homogeneous with 80% of Sunni Muslims and 20% of Shia'as. Conversely, the country is ethnically divided. Seven different ethnic groups have been counted, event though there is very little reliable statistics to show the composition of the population.
[...] Commanders with local government position now often channel funds from the foreign aid to their home area. Then, the social effects of warlordism in Afghanistan are considerable. Patronage along sub-ethnic lines by local authorities has aggravated internal divisions and disrupted traditional political arrangements. Consequently, it is important for the state to disarm warlords to undermine their power, but as they entered the institutional system and their power somehow resides in these military forces, it is today very difficult to obtain total co-operation from them. [...]
[...] It is by no means a regime change from authoritarian rule to democracy by internal factors, but in the first line the result of a foreign invasion, and the implementation of a basic democratic structure from the outside. The recent violent incidents in south and east Afghanistan may be one face of an Afghan anti establishment response. The constitutional formalities The constitution adopted by the Loya Jirga, sets up following electoral modi: The lower house (Wolesi Jirga, House of People), consists of 249 seats, all elected, in voting simultaneous, if possible, with presidential elections. [...]
[...] Undoubtedly Afghanistan has to be seen in its own specific history and political context, and also it's civil society existent or not can not be equalized with its western understanding. Given the wide participation in the last elections and the popular engagement in the Loya Jirga process, some would even argue, that there is a strong civil society in Afghanistan. In this section, we are talking of civil society in a wide sense, consisting of much more than an intelligentsia. [...]
[...] Once an association can hold its meetings in a secure environment without threats by the state authorities, people will recognize that it's finally possible to articulate ones interest and the motivation will grow. Ensuring security on a long-term is far more important than to send money and hope everything will go by itself. Collective action is less likely when it implies risk for engagement. Another problem is that the Afghan state has never really demanded the full loyalty of its own citizens. [...]
[...] A shift to a federal system would have erased most of the progress made in state building and all the state organization would have had to be reconsidered from zero. Besides, during and after the constitutional Loya Jirga process, there has been some criticism claiming that the centralized form was the personal choice of the President Karzai who wanted to strengthen his position and who was reluctant to give up some power to the warlords. Even if it is hard to assess the truth of these declarations, it is certain that the preference for centralism is also an attempt to reduce the power of the warlords. [...]
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