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Afghanistan–transition to transformation

By Ian Dudgeon

On 31 December 2014, Afghanistan will move from a UN-led period of ‘transition’ (2001–2014) to an Afghan-led and -owned ‘transformation decade’ (2015–2024).

The transformation decade will seek to consolidate and build on the outcomes of transition to ensure Afghanistan’s future as a functional, stable and durable state. The Afghanistan National Security Forces (ANSF) will have the lead responsibility for national security during transformation.

Although transition still has nearly a year to go, the end-of-2014 scorecard is expected to be a mix of positives and negatives.

Unless a major turn-around occurs, most national and foreign interlocutors interviewed for this report view Afghanistan’s short and longer term future with varying degrees of pessimism.

There’s a role for Australia including working unilaterally and with other nations, to help shape Afghanistan’s future. We’ve already publicly committed, on a bipartisan basis, to the long-term security, trade and development of Afghanistan after 2014. This report details other approaches including lobbying Afghan politicians; improving the effectiveness of aid; supporting multinational, regional and donor countries initiatives to promote political, security and economic cooperation and development; utilising other means and opportunities as they arise by using the resources and influence derived from our current membership of the UN Security Council.