Foreign Affairs Article

PrintPrint CiteCite
Style: MLAAPAChicago Close


Afghanistan's Ethnic Puzzle

Decentralizing Power Before the U.S. Withdrawal

Author: Thomas Barfield
September/October 2011
Foreign Affairs


In 2001, fearing ethnic strife, the international community pushed for a strong central government in Kabul. But such fears were based on a false reading of Afghan history and fostered a system of regional and ethnic patronage. To correct matters, the United States should de-emphasize Afghanistan's ethnic fault lines and push for more devolved and inclusive governance.

Subscribe to Foreign Affairs—the world's leading authority on foreign policy.

Read full article at

More on This Topic