Methods of Engagement in Afghanistan Custom Essay

This paper is designed for students to use key tools for evaluating international relations to develop a recommended solution for a modern international political problem. Afghanistan provides an important case of international relations in recent history.

Throughout the course we will consider three key means of engagement:

Security- which involves the use of military and law enforcement capabilities to protect State interests at home and abroad.

Identity- For Afghanistan, there are two key components of identity. Those are differences between ethnic groups, and differences in religious doctrine.

Economy- For most Afghan farmers, the lack of economic security leads them to cooperate with criminal and terrorist elements that purchase the poppies, which are converted into illegal narcotics. Poppy farmers must grow these to survive. However, this crop props up an illicit economy being countered by the West.

While slightly simplified in comparison to real life, the United States and its Coalition allies must accomplish the following objectives:

Defeat armed insurgent/terrorist groups in Afghanistan.
Provide an alternate means of livelihood for Afghan poppy growers to reduce opium production.
Persuade Afghans to embrace religious beliefs that are not tied to violent extremist organizations
Different schools of thought for international relations will approach each of these problems differently. For example, you can defeat a terror group with force, or you can you can use economic incentives to turn the populace against them, thus removing their base of support. You can declare war on poppy farmers, or you can subsidize farms so they switch to another crop. Realists would argue that the US and other Western powers in Afghanistan will act in their own rational self interest and policy should be made based on how things “are” versus “ought to be”. Liberal pluralists would argue that an international consensus needs to be built before any action in Afghanistan is taken and shy away from unilateral action. Along with “what should be done” identify “who” will do it. The US? NATO? The UN?

For the purposes of this paper assume you are a special envoy to the President of the United States. First, identify and support which theory you believe is most appropriate for the Afghanistan scenario. Next, make recommendations on how to achieve the three objectives identified above and ultimately achieve success in Afghanistan. Explain what tools: diplomatic, economic, military, international organizations, NGO’s, and others, you would use to address each problem. Explain what school of thought (or combinations of schools) would best support the decisions you have made. Finally, conclude your paper with expected outcomes you believe will come from your strategy for these three objectives and how we will know when these strategies are successful.


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