Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, May 29th, 2020

Diplomacy is the Best Policy

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Diplomacy is the Best Policy

Having a big stick is nice, but speaking softly is usually more effective that is called diplomacy.  In all aspects, diplomacy is an instrument for solving international crises and create cooperation. In its background, diplomacy initiatives were successful in ending political crises since World War II.   Diplomatic initiatives are the best mechanism for managing the world conflicts and endless wars in twenty-1st century. However, in Afghanistan context things are different. Using diplomacy approach was not very successful. Therefore, to end the forty years war a lot of time and energy needed. As the result, today Afghanistan government has only one instrument that is compromise and negotiation.  With the fact, the U.S. and Taliban came back to the table of conciliation and chosen the option of talks. After eighteen months of thoughtful talking, the “Agreement for Bringing Peace to Afghanistan” singed finally.  The treaty sent three different messages to the world:   
First, at the international level, it proved the U.S. commitment to negotiations route for regional powers, key players in the issue of Afghanistan. The Result has been an important success for the U.S. domestic policy, for it offers the advantage of bringing its troops home from a war that stalemated and costs U.S. taxpayers tens of billions of dollars each year. In addition, it is an achievement for European governments for it is a path for withdrawal their troops from Afghanistan officially and respectfully.  Achieving the agreement has taken quite a couple of years. Before reaching to the last point - its plot goes up and  down. The pursuit of a negotiated settlement has only been at the core of U.S. policy since late 2018. “Launching a diplomatic surge to move this conflict toward a political outcome,” announced through Hillary Clinton in 2011. Years of diplomatic efforts to launch a peace process followed. The U.S. did not truly priorities talks until late 2018, after military effort failed.  However, President Trump has made his last effort to end the war in Afghanistan before the election.  In reality, it is an evident of his unique leadership skills and it is his administration achievement that would be highlighted in 2020 election for American people. Since most of his potential Democratic opponents want U.S. forces out.
Second, at the national level, Qatar agreement increased the morality of Taliban militia more and more. Since, one of the step is to free the Taliban prisoners from prisons of Afghanistan before the intra-Afghan negotiation start.  Clearly, this stage increase Taliban militia numbers and morality as well.  Another point is when the news of “US force leaving the country” as well as “losing of U.S. operational backing in particular air support” communicate in far villages of Afghanistan through Taliban, exaggerate that “we pulled the foreign force out” the battlefield dynamics would have steadily shift in their favor. In addition, will the U.S. continue supporting the Afghan government while withdrawing from the country?  Is the next question that has not yet answered.
Third, these days everywhere and everybody is talking about deal with the Taliban. Conversely, the “Agreement for Bringing Peace in Afghanistan” at first would be a history test for Afghans’ curiosity and cleverness in diplomacy. Secondly, it would be a big assessment of Afghan government IQ in negotiation, in a way to highlight ideas of how much the Afghan President value diplomacy and privilege military power. In the whole Afghan government has three options on the table: following diplomacy, defending from its authority, accepting Islamic Emirate. Another challenge is the uncertainty of what type of settlement the neighboring country or other regional powers want to support or at least live with it. Therefore, the government does not have a concrete idea / or a clever conclusion.  For the reason that pursuing the first option by no means guarantees an end to Afghanistan, war. The truth is the government does not believe to reach to an acceptable agreement with the Taliban at the present circumstances of Afghanistan.  Because it seems that Taliban has upper hand in this negotiation. Nonetheless, Afghan intellectuals emphasize on selection of the best-experienced diplomats for negotiation, for the people want fair and rational agreement that can guarantee stability and peace in the country.   As, one of the major lessons in the history of diplomacy is that the personal factors continue to play a key role. The diplomat must be quick, resourceful, a good listener, courteous and agreeable. Above all, the good negotiator must possess enough self-control to resist the longing to speak before he has thought out what he actually intends to say. By articulating the national interests of the country provides the possibility to understand its position and gift prosperity for the people. This makes the Afghan country predictable in its international behavior, which is of supreme importance in our time of change.  Attempts to please both the neighboring players and the Afghan government renders disservice to the diplomat.  Making an agreement that is applicable in Afghanistan current situation is needed experience negotiators.  If the government does not include the best diplomats in the negotiation, it is uncertain whether the Taliban, Afghan government and other powerful traditional leaders can reach agreement that working out with the country’s political order. From another hand, if the agreement does not meet the interests and desires of the traditional leaders, the conflict could begin to resemble the multi-sided civil war of the early to mid-1990s.
Last of all, Qatar agreement has put the engine of fire in the land of Afghanistan – examining the tolerance and flexibility of Afghan elites; Do Afghans have the capacity to live as brothers or continue hate-ness and aggressive behaviors? Afghans have to decide quickly, either Afghanistan prosperity is important for them, nor forgetting Afghanistan and supporting neighboring countries interests.  Remembering that this is the last chance of success.  Many issues depend upon skillful diplomats, flexibility of the government, warlords, neighbors and other regional powers.  However, the intra-Afghan negotiation process would be painfully slow. Mainly agreeing upon title of new government and forming a new working administration would be the most difficult parts of the negotiation. Nevertheless, as the common points are more than the contrasts it provides the hope that diplomacy will succeed finally in Afghanistan.

Dawlat Baktiari is the newly emerging writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at outlookafghanistan@gmail.com

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