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Guest Opinion

A strong central government in Kabul, Afghanistan will never happen.
Afghanistan will always have two centers of power. The North Alliance has its power center in Mazar Shariff and controlling Kabul are the Tajik, Hazana and Uzbek.
The largest ethnic group is the Pashtun, with 38 percent and their center is Kandahar. The Taliban are Pashtun but even among the Pashtun populate only 15 percent want the Taliban to return to power. The Pashtun in the south distrust the central government, which has no influence and does not provide any government services or justice to the south.
We have tried propping up Karzai’s government but Karzai has no power or influence outside of Kabul. We need to set up a strong regional government in Kandahar and have elections for setting up the regional government, governor, regional development director, judicial system, military and political leaders. We need to direct our development dollars and reconstruction efforts directly into the new regional government in Kandahar. This relationship between the regional government in Kandahar with Kabul will be similar to the semi-autonomous state of the Kurds in Iraq.
We need to redouble our efforts for bringing moderate Pashtun Taliban fighters into the political process of the newly formed and strengthened regional government in Kandahar. Amnesty for former moderate Pashtun Taliban fighters will include offers to bring them into the newly formed regional military and police forces, much like the marines did with former Sunni fighters in el-Anbar province in Iraq. They, of course, will need to pledge their support to their newly formed regional government in Kandahar.
Justice is a priority with the Pashtun, not Sharia law. The corruption of Karzai’s regime in Kabul is a big driver of the Taliban insurgency. Once these moderate Taliban realize they have input into their own governance, their own redevelopment with U.S. dollars and control their own justice and security, they should readily get on board and turn on their former jihad terrorist, who only wants death and destruction for all. It worked with the Sunni in Iraq and it can work with the Pashtun in Afghanistan.
Semper Fidelis