12 June 2012 - we repeat our letter to the Independent on Sunday (UK) of 11 August 2009 - it is more relevant than ever for thinking about NATO getting out of Afghanistan with minimal damage.
Dipconsult 91108+ Afghanistan internationalization Letter Indep on Sunday
For the Letters Editor, The Independent on Sunday
From John Pedler, JP Diplomatic Consultancy,
Your Indy on Sunday leader 8 Nov. Afghanistan (& Brown’s exit plan)
Yes, it is time to start planning for the withdrawal of British forces from Afghanistan over the next year (Independent on Sunday leader 8 November). But the corollary must be for Britain to work with Europe, the US, and NATO to internationalise Afghanistan which has one very big thing going for it. As well as the US, Europe, and Russia, all of its neighbours, China (that makes all five permanent members of the Security Council), Iran, the two ex-Soviet states, and Pakistan all have a major interest in its stability. So does Turkey, Saudi Arabia, India, Israel, Egypt, Syria and in varying degrees all the Muslim countries from Morocco to Indonesia.
Together these countries have the political, financial, and religious resources to put immense pressure on all the parties involved. Faced with the withdrawal of Western forces all would wish to play their role to ensure subsequent stability. A major diplomatic campaign to coordinate such international efforts could well succeed given the Obama administration's drive to replace confrontation with cooperation.