Afghan conflict needs robust peacemaking, experts say – National Catholic Reporter publications

Ali Ahmad, 4, sits with his father and relatives at their house after he survived a suicide attack at a mosque in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 27. (Newscom/Reuters/Omar Sobhani)

Ali Ahmad, 4, sits with his father and relatives at their house after he survived a suicide attack at a mosque in Kabul, Afghanistan, Aug. 27. (Newscom/Reuters/Omar Sobhani)

After nearly 16 years of armed conflict in which three surges of foreign troops have failed to end the violence, one strategy has never been tried in Afghanistan: robust peacemaking.

President Donald Trump promised that the plan he announced Aug. 21 would dramatically change the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan and South Asia. But experts in peacebuilding say he is continuing an approach that has failed miserably for more than 15 years while ignoring alternatives that are backed by research and evidence.

Refusing to specify numbers of troops or time frames, Trump committed the U.S. military to continued involvement in Afghanistan, postponed consideration of a political settlement until “after an effective military effort” and said the U.S. would focus on “killing terrorists” rather than… Read More on National Catholic Reporter publications