Small Wars Journal

British Embassy: Reintegration, Reconciliation in Afghanistan

Reintegration, Reconciliation: What Do We Mean? - Simon Shercliff, UK's First Secretary of Foreign Security and Policy, Washington, DC

After comments by Secretary Gates on his recent India/Pakistan trip, and by General McChrystal in the FT, the topic of the moment here in DC is reconciliation/reintegration. Regular readers will know that I have highlighted this issue often in the past. Discussion of reintegration and reconciliation, and indeed simple definition of the terms themselves, is fraught with sensitivity. But given that this discussion will clearly take up much of the London conference, it is important that we are as precise as we can be with the language.

This is my take on what we mean - and crucially what we don't mean - when we talk about these issues.

Some excerpts follow:

Reconciliation is the end game, and it needs the right conditions...

Which can be reached by a combination of military and civilian means -- pressure and incentives...

... one of which is reintegration...

And none of which is striking a power-sharing deal with the Taliban, or anyone who follows their practices...

Which means that reintegration, leading to reconciliation, will not catch everyone...

More at The UK in the USA.



Wed, 01/27/2010 - 6:14pm

Will the re-integration initiative be successful..or rather just embolden the insurgents.

Only negotiate from a position of strength, so said Clausewitz!

Time will tell!

Did anyone read yesterdays article in the New York Times reference former LTG, now US Ambassador to Afghanistan Eikenberry's "secret" memo to State in direct contrary to General Mc's vision of the way forward...if not, you should!