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peace negotiated by outsiders will never

hold, but there is a role for the United

States. Here he posits admittedly ideal-

ized pro les of Pakistan and Afghanistan

in 2020.

ere are modest but achievable

measures that will assist in achieving

these outcomes.

First, Tomsen urges the United States

and its allies not to abandon Afghanistan

to anarchy.

e Ghani government’s

signing of the Status of Forces Agree-

ment and Bilateral Security Agreement,

with continued salary support of Afghan

national security forces, could be the rst

of these measures.

Tomsen calls for reduced U.S. pres-

ence in a lower-level anti–terrorism cam-

paign primarily run by Afghans. Here,

also, the SOFA and BSA will be helpful. In

a better world, a portion of current U.S.

and allied funding could be turned to

development assistance delivered more

by Afghans than by U.S. troops. But such

assistance is not viable in an insurgency.

e issue remains security.

Second, Pakistan must end its sup-

port for radical Islamists on both sides

of the border.

e considerable mili-

tary, development and humanitarian

assistance Islamabad has received from

the United States has had little in uence

on Pakistan’s actions. But the violence

Pakistan has fomented in Afghanistan,

long after the Soviet withdrawal and

the collapse of the PDPA, now envelops

Pakistan itself.

ird, chronically divided Afghan

moderates and their followers need to

submerge long-standing ethnic and

political grievances and unite behind

national and local administrations com-

mitted to good governance.

e recent trilingual imbroglio over

election results, audit procedures, criteria

for vote disquali cations, and the roles

of the president and the chief executive

o cer could be just a new example of

these potentially disruptive grievances.

At the moment, there seems some, but

perhaps not enough, positive movement

on the latter two issues.

Analysts may judge if the United

States and its allies will nd the right mix

of steps to the idealized Afghanistan and

Pakistan of 2020.

Old Afghan hands, pre-9/11 and

those with more recent experience, will

relish a good read, and place a well-

thumbed copy of Peter Tomsen’s


of Afghanistan

in an honored place on

their bookshelves next to another book of

a similar weight, Louis DuPree’s classic,




omas H. Eighmy served as a geographer

and associate chief of party in the Ministry of

Planning for USAID’s Afghan Demographic

Survey from 1971 to 1975. As a USAID

Foreign Service o cer, he was a health,

education and regional a airs o cer in

Islamabad and Peshawar for the Cross-

Border Humanitarian Assistance Program

from 1988 to 1992, which overlapped with

Tomsen’s tour as special envoy to the Afghan

resistance. He assisted in reopening the

USAID mission in Kabul in 2002, and was

an adviser to the International Foundation

for Election Systems there in 2003.

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Only Pakistan is consistent. It uses a policy of playing

both arsonist and fireman inside Afghanistan.