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Amitai Etzioni David Katz Harsh Pant - Middle East Forum

Amitai Etzioni David Katz Harsh Pant - Middle East Forum

Stability Program,

Stability Program, Afghan Public ProtectionProgram, Community Defense Initiative, andLocal Defense Initiative that operate throughshuras or jurgas (local or tribal consultativecouncils) will either be co-opted by a large repertoireof local interests or rejected because, attheir core, they are antithetical to qawm andmanteqa interests. 13Short of a fundamentalrestructuring ofThe competition the Afghan state, therefore,the solution is tobetweenthe Afghanconstruct an intermediateedifice or interfacegovernment and between the antitheticalthe Taliban may aspects of the Afghanbe about who state and village society.will provide This structure should beable to directly accesspublic order. qawm networks, migratethem to the central stateover time, fight the sectarian war, and stabilizethe village system. This requires that the predominance,range of control, depth and balanceamong the networked constituencies that makeup village society is altered, elevating some anddiminishing others. This intermediate structuremust be evolutionary, rather than revolutionary,so as to preclude a reactionary backlash. Itshould, moreover, isolate and atomize those linksSalafists use to access the village society’s socialstructure.Admittedly, the situation in Afghanistanis chaotic. The central government does notpossess an established, widely trusted, or acceptedcapacity for institutional governanceand is challenged by numerous warlords andheavily armed tribes dotting the Afghan andPakistani landscape. Co-opting and makingthem enemies of Salafi Islam and allies of thenational government will be difficult, but thereare historical precedents for long-term success.The most directly applicable is the “internal imperialism”of Amir Abdurrahman (1880-1901),aptly named the “Iron Amir,” who consolidatedpreviously independent tribes under centralgovernment authority. Likewise, Zahir Shah’slong and peaceful reign (1933-73) was largelydue to its co-optation of and cooperation withvillage society: He successfully maintained balanceamong tribes, religious leaders, and thecentral government by limiting its presence androle in the countryside and by skillful use of softpower. 14By way of repeating Abdurrahman’s consolidationwhile emphasizing Zahir’s cooptation,a prominent man from each manteqashould be selected as baradur ikhan (or heroiclocal leader in Pashto) and endowed withpermanent, indivisible, and inheritable federalassets, obligations, and powers. These are intendedto align the baradur ikhan, his family,extended relations, and constituents with thecentral government, and they then become aconduit between it and the qawm in eachmanteqa, facilitating the incorporation of villagesociety over time to the state. By elevatingselect qawm members, providing themwith federal assets (fiefs), and requiring allegianceand owed service (homage), the predominance,range of control, depth, and balanceamong the networked constituenciesthat make up village society are altered,interlinking the village with the decentralizedsubstructure, and by extension—with thestate’s central superstructure. Additionally,the manteqa’s fixed physical location attachesthe baradur ikhan, his family, and clan to adefined geographic area they must defend ifthey want to retain the centrally-awarded benefits.If properly managed, the federal investitureof an individual from the manteqa andthe qawm can generate a cascade of personalobligations and owed service—ultimately tothe central government—from the baradurikhan downward to his retainers in themanteqa, and horizontally through mutualsupport obligations to other baradur ikhansacross manteqas.13 The New York Times, Mar. 11, 2010. 14 Miakhel, Understanding Afghanistan, p. 21.22 / MIDDLE EAST QUARTERLY SPRING 2011

Decentralization also imposesan obligation on the centralgovernment, which mustassist and support its representative,his family, retainers, andconstituents, not intrigueagainst them, or reduce themto servitude. While it mayspecify terms and conditionsfor operating the fief, thegovernment’s goal is to generatea string of long-term, personalobligations from prominentindividuals and families inthose areas it needs to consolidate.Prior conditions on thebaradur ikhan for holding andoperating the fief cannot beoverly constraining to ensurethat federal assets are protectedand operated profitably.Refined and honed over millennia for fierce resistanceagainst invaders, Afghanistan’s Pashtun tribal society mustbe separated from the Taliban and its Salafist allies andaligned to the central government as a prerequisite forwinning the war.Photo will not display.INSTITUTIONAL STRATEGYNewly-appointed baradur ikhans in thevarious manteqas will play a central role in creatinglinks between village society and the centralgovernment. It is to them that local constituentswould pledge personal allegiance inexchange for profiting from centrally createdassets and federal alignment. The baradurikhan must deliver homage, military service ofa specified number of retainers in battle or garrison,or service support, such as digging fortifications,carting supplies, providing arms orvehicles, etc. Additionally, the baradur ikhanmust provide hospitality and food for federalrepresentatives and attend meetings at the nationallevel when summoned.A long-tenured baradur ikhan can providedirect, consistent, and stable civil-military representationto the manteqa. Long tenure makesit possible to fulfill cross-generational personalobligations between the central government, itssubjects, and the qawm network. Without theability to redress grievance or interface with theoriginal, local individual guarantor or his family,neither the subject nor the qawm will risk a meaningfulrelationship with the central authorities.Long tenure provides consistency and stabilitywhich minimizes random shocks to the qawmand manteqa, allowing for better planning andhigher societal growth with lower societal risk.Ultimately, a long tenure facilitates the evolutionof baradur ikhans’ individual performanceinto the standard for the office, laying the foundationsof institutional governance.The baradur ikhan’s duties as direct civilmilitaryrepresentative to the manteqa includeterritorial defense, both separately and in coordinationwith, but not subordinate to, the localconsultative body (jurga or shura), administrationof governmental goods and services, andfacilitation of the government-qawm relationship.15 As such, the baradur ikhan would recruitand maintain a professional constabulary fromlocal families. He would also incorporate thosefamilies, as appropriate, to his centrally-providedfiefs requiring formal homage obligations (i.e.,15 Seth Jones, “Community Defense in Afghanistan,” JointForces Quarterly, 2nd Quarter, 2010, p. 11.Katz: Pashtun Society / 23

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