How State-building Failed in Afghanistan

No Two countries are Alike, but Certain Conclusions can be Drawn from the Afghani and Kosovar Experiences

8 September 2021

The post-Cold War period was characterised by global military interventions and the United States’ increased involvement on the world stage. The US intervened militarily in Kosovo and Afghanistan and initiated state-building in both countries.

State-building has developed into an integral part of peacebuilding, and this is evident in a number of conflicts, including Kosovo and Afghanistan. State-building refers to strengthening the functionality of the state.

According to James Dobbins, an American diplomat, state-building missions aim ‘to halt a conflict, if one is still underway, forestall any resumption in the fighting and promote the emergence of an indigenous government capable ultimately of resuming full responsibility for the security and well-being of its population.’

As the world was entering a unipolar moment, the US became the most critical actor in world politics. On 24 March 1999, the US-led NATO mission launched ‘Operation Allied Force’, an aerial campaign to prevent further Yugoslav atrocities in Kosovo and topple the Slobodan Milošević regime.

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Visar Xhambazi

Visar Xhambazi is a policy researcher at Democracy for Development (D4D) Institute in Kosovo and a young professional advisor at United Europe in Germany. He holds a master’s degree in International Studies from Old Dominion University in Virginia, specializing in US foreign policy and international relations.

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