SHAFAQNA – In the wake of the June 31, 2017, attack on Kabul, which killed 90 and wounded 400 in the diplomatic quarter of the city, Prince Ali Seraj of Afghanistan is prepared to discuss the story behind the story.
Seraj’s depth of insight and political experience in Afghanistan make him an important voice in the national conversation about Afghanistan and how President Donald Trump’s administration will tackle America’s longest war. Seraj, founder of the Prince Ali Seraj Institute for Peace and Reconstruction (http://www.pasi.one/), has appeared on CNN, BBC, Sky News and other national and International media.
A resident of Connecticut and Washington, DC, and leading figure in Afghan policy, Prince Ali Seraj will release his memoir, THE LOST KINGDOM: MEMOIR OF AN AFGHAN PRINCE, this fall (Post Hill Press, October 2017).
The Challenge and Opportunity for the Trump Administration:
- Sorting out who’s who among the Taliban, militias, foreign extremists, and others in Afghanistan.
- Afghanistan is now considered the United States’ longest war in which nearly 2500 U.S. lives have been sacrificed and $1 trillion dollars spent.
- The terrorist threat has increased several fold and the Taliban occupy more than 40% of the nation. ISIS/Daesh have infiltrated several provinces.
- The U.S. “mother-of-all bombs” strike on Afghanistan’s eastern provinces in April was the correct move and sent a crucial message to the region, especially to DAESH/ISIL terrorist groups.
- Russia and Iran are now supporting the Taliban.
- Due to continuous infighting and disagreements, Afghanistan’s National Unity Government, co-developed by the U.S. during the Obama Administration, has failed to gain the trust of the people.
- Central Asia faces far greater danger now than when the war started in 2001.
- U.S. policy for Afghanistan urgently needs a new approach, and the Trump administration has an opportunity to develop a new strategy.
- U.S. policy needs to be based on an understanding of the importance of tribal leadership in all aspects of Afghan society. Without governance or policy that includes tribal leaders—men and women—any policy will fail.
- The U.S. views the tribal culture through a narrow and inaccurate lens, equating tribes with terrorism, and this is the foundation of failed U.S. policies. President Trump’s successful policy will recognize that “Tribes” do not equal “Taliban” or “Sharia law.”
- Any successful policy must also be based on economic development—economic stability leads to political and social stability.
- Seraj proposes a new free-trade region involving Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan—a modern-day “Silk Road” that would bring stability to the region. This is a bold and plausible solution that no one is talking about—an innovative approach that must be part of today’s conversation about Afghanistan.
- There is an official unified tribal organization in place that will facilitate working with tribal leadership on all political, economic, and social policy issues. No one talks about this crucial organization.
- By creating a symbiotic relationship between the State and the tribes, Afghanistan can defend itself from internal and exterior terrorists and rebuild without any further loss to U.S. lives.