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Research Report

The Netherlands and Afghanistan: Dutch Policies and Interventions with regard to the Civil War in Afghanistan

Luc van de Goor
Mathijs van Leeuwen
Copyright Date: Nov. 1, 2000
Published by: Clingendael Institute
Pages: 111

Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. 1-2)
  2. (pp. 3-4)
  3. (pp. 7-8)
  4. (pp. 9-12)

    This study was executed within the framework of the ‘Conflict Policy Research Project’ carried out by the Netherlands Institute of International Relations ‘Clingendael’ for the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The aim of this project is to formulate a model for conflict prognosis as well as identifying policies and instruments (the ‘policy mix’) for interventions related to intrastate conflict. These goals are to be achieved on the basis of a review of relevant literature, a study of the policies and practices of selected major other-donor countries, and in-depth case studies into the specific Dutch policies and practices in six countries...

  5. (pp. 13-42)

    Few historical events of the last decade have carried such a symbolical connotation as the September 1996 capture of Kabul by the Taliban. Either regarded as a culmination of radical Islam or the ultimate disintegration of a state, it brought the world’s attention back to Afghanistan, which it had lost since the withdrawal of the Soviets in 1989. The end of the Soviet occupation had initially seemed to introduce peace to the troubled country, but with hindsight it can be concluded that it instead introduced a new phase of conflict with new dynamics.

    Any explanation of the background of the...

  6. (pp. 43-58)

    Chapter 3 reviews the interventions by outsiders to end the Afghan conflict. The major interventions by the international community were along three tracks: diplomacy, in the form of negotiations and political relations; military force as well as restrictions in military assistance; and economic and aid policies.

    The Afghan conflict has been subject to intense mediation. The huge number of actors involved in those negotiations added to their complexity. The major diplomatic efforts will be analysed here, starting from the Geneva Accords of 1988, which were meant to settle matters in Afghanistan after the Soviets had retreated. As was shown in...

  7. (pp. 59-72)

    This chapter explores the instruments used by the Dutch government to deal with the conflict in Afghanistan, and will give, where possible, indications of their effectiveness. Dutch diplomatic and bilateral relationships with Afghanistan are examined first, and the changes in the conceptualization of humanitarian aid and development policies in the 1990s are considered. Later sections focus on Dutch policies in practice, at the diplomatic and international level, and at the project level.

    Diplomatic relationships between the Netherlands and Afghanistan are of a relatively recent nature. First attempts at entering official relations through a pact of friendship failed in the 1930s....

  8. (pp. 73-78)

    From the outline of the Afghan imbroglio a number of factors have been deducted as underlying and accounting for the continuing violence. First, the problems related to the process of state formation. The analysis pointed to a lack of state coherence and continued return to competition and fighting in Afghanistan, which resulted from the country’s history. Afghanistan has never had a strong government or sense of state. Hence, a centre that could manage or build the state had never been developed, and traditional communities have strongly resisted encroachment by the state. In the absence of a strong political centre, a...

  9. (pp. 79-82)
  10. (pp. 111-111)