As 2014 approaches and NATO prepares to leave Afghanistan while the Afghan presidential election begins to activate, there are a set of indigenous conditions that must set the standard for the effective transfer of power to qualified Afghan leadership that cannot be ignored any longer by policy makers.
“A leader is one who knows the way,
goes the way, and shows the way”
“A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision
comes from passion, not position”,
John C. Maxwell.
Since the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 those qualities have been in short supply for the country. Sadly it has lacked a true leader to steer the Afghan nation towards the only path that would lead to a unified and progressive Afghanistan, as it once was. After 11 years the same fruitless trend of U.S. support for illegitimate and dishonest leadership in Kabul is perpetuating a dysfunctional scheme that is incapable of self-correction. It is a fact that the historically acceptable indigenous method that worked in the past to appease and unify the Afghan majority has been continually ignored. This is a dangerous recipe for a bloody civil war with monumental unintended consequences for the region and the world.
The consistent lack of high level involvement by key Afghan players in promoting a peaceful solution for all Afghans will result in an erratic outcome. Policy makers do not recognize how to solve this problem because they look to the U.S. sponsored Afghan elites in Kabul who cling to their dishonestly acquired power, claiming they have the rights to dynastic leadership.
But so far, the true indigenous formula to “fit, form and function” an Afghan leadership has never been given a chance.
Evidently Afghanistan’s Jeffersonian style democracy has been co-opted by an illegitimate and futile presidential election with the assist of enormous amounts of wealth, force and intimidation.
These are the preferred and acceptable means to secure fraudulent votes resulting in a destabilizing crisis for the country that is beyond repair.
The transfer of power from NATO to the Afghan government will be an illusion if the country’s leadership does not support the interests of the majority. The list of indigenous measures below lays out those requirements for an Afghan leadership that could create unity and trust amongst all the Afghan people once again.
First: The leader should not have blood on his hands.
Second: The leader should have a bloodline identity and tribal backing.
In tribal Afghanistan, bloodline identity is the most essential aspect of the society, it carries the generational deed so the Afghan majority could give its best and clear assessment whether to trust or distrust the leader. Unlike western system, primitive Afghanistan does not have a digital bar code method so one’s archival data is freely be a matter of public record.
Third: The leader should not be corrupt and dishonest else he will not gain the majority’s allegiance.
Fourth: the leader should convey the true vision of mainstream Islam and not radicalized ideology for political and personal gain.
Fifth: The leader should be acceptable to any other ethnicity when crossing that ethnic line.
Sixth: The leader should avoid impartiality and nepotism by NOT elevating his tribe or ethnicity.
Once there is an effective leadership in place, they should be supported by an effective enough structure of governance to win sufficient popular support. In addition, there needs to be enough money to keep the economy and the government running. Similarly, there needs to be a functional security presence in key populations’ centers. In addition, the Afghan government and the international community should agree with continued U.S. and allied presence during the transition and for as many years necessary after 2014.
Perhaps time is short in implementing this concept but something of this nature must be done immediately before it is too late for the Afghan political system to hold free and fair elections—especially presidential elections.
Charges of electoral fraud make matters worse. This has a direct bearing on the security situation affecting the current political system as to whether it will survive the 2014 NATO drawdown.
The NWSC (New World Strategies Coalition) is a think tank founded by native Afghans that creates nonmilitary solutions for Afghanistan. The NWSC has outlined a comprehensive reconciliation process in a white paper entitled Restoring the Tribal Balance.
We thank the New World Strategy Coalition for their kind contribution. Hopefully we will see international experts on Afghanistan and local intellectuals taking part in this very important discussion.
Perhaps it would be too simplistic to limit the problems of Afghanistan to the lack of this 6-dimensional national leader. Even if he is born and about to show up: what will be his abilities, resources and leverages to suppress the internationally interlaced drug mafia? To fight down Taliban? To attract resources for reconstruction of Afghanistan? Who will guarantee his security in case he acts exclusively in the interests of the long-suffering Afghan people? Or maybe he will not be so brave and prefers to make deals with these actors? Wouldn’t he be a Karzai 2.0 in this case?