A leading expert on Afghanistan cautioned April 11 that Afghanistan?s attempt to draft a new constitution could prove a "meaningless exercise" without concurrent efforts to improve security in the country?s provinces. The international community?s top priority over the near term should be curtailing the power of Afghan warlords, the expert said. Failure to do so could result in renewed conflict.
Since its formation in June 2002, President Hamid Karzai?s interim administration has been hard pressed to extend its authority in Afghanistan?s regions. [For background see the Eurasia Insight archives]. In many key provinces ? such as Herat, in western Afghanistan, and Balkh in the North ? Kabul?s power is eclipsed by local militia leaders. The relative weakness of centralized authority in Afghanistan poses a major threat to the successful implementation of the country?s new constitution, ratification of which is expected later this year.
"There is a risk that [the constitutional drafting process] could become a meaningless exercise," Barnett Rubin, an Afghanistan expert who helped draft the 2001 Bonn process for Afghanistan?s political reconstruction, told an Open Forum at the Open Society Institute in New York.
"The most important thing outsiders can do is to create the conditions that will make it possible for the constitution to mean anything," Rubin said in arguing for a more vigorous international effort to contain "warlordism" in Afghanistan.
The war party proclaim their object as Iraqi democracy. They also proclaimed their object as Afghan democracy. Why should we believe their promises in Iraq when we see their record in Afghanistan?