Afghanistan as a Federal System with Autonomous Regions
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES
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Afghanistan has historically been governed by local and tribal leaders with short-lived attempts at a strong central unitary government. Whenever there has been a strong central government, it has been removed from power relatively quickly. The people of Afghanistan resent strong central government and demonstrate this through their repeated revolts and coups that follow any bold government intrusion in their lives. This monograph asserts that Afghanistan should be governed utilizing a federal system with strong autonomous areas. Part 1 contains a discussion of the modern history of Afghanistan, focusing on governance, and a brief background of Afghan cultural demographics. Part 2 defines federalism and autonomous areas. Part 3 contains case studies of Spain, Belgium, and the autonomous region of Kurdistan in Iraq. Both Spain and Belgium are examples of nation-states made up of strong ethnic groups in which a federal system with autonomous regions has helped to stabilize. The region of Kurdistan within Iraq is an example of a country that is successfully using an autonomous region to decrease ethnic violence and separatist movements. Part 4 examines the parallels between these systems of government and the situation in Afghanistan. It also explores the current challenges in Afghanistan that could be alleviated by implementing an alternative political system. The author recommends that Afghanistan alter its governments current design and adopt a federal system with strong autonomous regions.
- Government and Political Science