DOC Research releases special report: A new strategy for Afghanistan


Berlin, 1.12.2017: This report by Graciana del Castillo analyses three policies that were particularly problematic in the country: attempts to impose ‘military solutions’ with ‘development’ activities on the side and as an afterthought; delays in moving away from the ‘economics of war’ (profitable underground economy) into the ‘economics of peace’ (optimal policies often not possible or desirable; conflict-sensitive economic policies necessary to avoid relapse); and failure to take advantage of aid lessons from the past, and hence repeating some of the same mistakes related to both US and Soviet aid in the 1940s and 1950s.

This report posits that it is the perfect time to start a dialogue between national policymakers and foreign interveners on how to put Afghan reconstruction on track. For that purpose, it proposes two small-scale pilot experiments involving the creation of Reconstruction Zones and the use of aid to establish Basic Income Programs. This is offered on the basis that military solutions alone are not going to succeed in turning Afghanistan’s vicious circle into a virtuous one of investment, inclusive growth, human development, security, prosperity, and self-reliance.

Dr. Graciana del Castillo is a senior fellow at the Ralph Bunche Institute for International Studies; a Member of the Council on Foreign Relations; a member of several advisory boards; and a co-founding partner of the Macroeconomics Advisory Group, an international consultancy firm that advises governments, international organizations, and the private sector. She has experience and made research of the past 25 years on economic reconstruction of war-torn countries, focusing on Afghanistan.