Would a peace deal for Afghanistan actually mean peace - and what does peace mean anyway?
The tomb site of Ahmad Shah Massoud in Panjshir, Afghanistan © Des Clark 2020
Serious conflict risks will exist in Afghanistan even after a peace agreement is finalized. After so much suffering and expense, expectations will be high for a brighter future, with peace taking hold and reduced international involvement. Past experiences in Afghanistan and elsewhere in the world, however, underscore both the fragility and the possibilities of this moment. Planning to meet the likely post-settlement security challenges must start long before hostilities have concluded and a formal peace agreement is reached.