Crisis Diplomacy at the Crossroads: Afghanistan and the Macro Region
April 27th, 2012 by Afghan Mission
On Thursday evening at Princeton University, the Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination at Princeton, the Woodrow Wilson School and Near Eastern Studies, co-sponsored a panel discussion, “Crisis Diplomacy at the Crossroads: Afghanistan and the Macro Region.” The panel featured H.E. Ambassador Zahir Tanin, Permanent Representative of Afghanistan to the UN and was moderated by Wolfgang Danspeckgruber, LISD Director.
Ambassador Tanin explained the historical context of Afghanistan in both the immediate and extended region, and discussed the importance of regional cooperation on the way forward for Afghanistan. He described the process of transition to Afghan ownership and leadership, noting that the security transition is on the verge of beginning its third phase. He noted that the international community and Afghanistan need to focus on normalizing the security situation, the political and social situation, and the international presence in Afghanistan.
As the Afghan forces assume control of the country and take the lead, the recently finalized Strategic Partnership Agreement that will be highly discussed at the Chicago NATO Summit in May will be a big step toward establishing the future role of the US beyond 2014. Ambassador Tanin made it clear that, “Afghanistan will continue to require assistance from the international community, particularly with regard to the training and support of Afghan forces.” Ambassador Tanin has echoed many international stakeholders in stating that success in Afghanistan requires maintaining international support well beyond 2014.
Afghanistan’s immediate neighbors are crucial components in security and stability in the country and region, as well as several countries in the macro region, particularly, Russia, China and India, which hold a great deal of influence.
During these crucial moments in Afghanistan, Ambassador Tanin said there are two choices, “first is working only with the region and second is working with both its international partners and the region. Recognizing the needs in an interconnected and global world, we realize that the best option to help Afghanistan and the region is the second.”