Why the west won't win Afghanistan: game theory implications for post-conflict reconstruction

Pantin, Cecily Maria (2007) Why the west won't win Afghanistan: game theory implications for post-conflict reconstruction. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Since 2002, NATO and the Western powers have been waging a war in Afghanistan and attempting to vanquish the roots of terrorism in the troubled nation. The reconstruction efforts began even as war continued to be fought. A considerably pro-western government under President Karzai was installed through electoral processes in 2004. Nevertheless, in 2007 reconstruction efforts seem no farther ahead and successes are minimal. Foreign interveners view Afghanistan as a tabula rasa upon which they can defeat the enemy and impose a liberal-democratic political and economic order. But this will not happen. The country continues to struggle against the influence of neighbors, violence and corruption of warlords, the illegal opium trade, as well as ethnic and religious disparities. Above all, Afghanistan remains subject to violent political jockeying. The country continues to grapple with the Taliban insurgency, the threat of attacks from remaining al-Qa'ida, and instability. The game being played in Afghanistan is much more complex than the West ever envisioned. As long as they continue to neglect the numerous nested games, specifically games in multiple arenas, embedded within the situation and focus solely on the game in the principal arena - defeating the Taliban and forming a pro-liberal state in the Middle East - reconstruction will fail. Troops continue to filter into Afghanistan but reconstruction and peace are slipping out of reach.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/9420
Item ID: 9420
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 102-105)
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Political Science
Date: 2007
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Afghanistan
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Game theory; Postwar reconstruction--Afghanistan; Afghanistan--Politics and government--21st century

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