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Afghanistan, Arms and Conflict

Armed Groups, Disarmament and Security in a Post-war Society

By Michael Bhatia and Mark Sedra, April 2008
Published by Routledge

This is the first book to provide a comprehensive assessment of small arms and security-related issues in post-9/11 Afghanistan. It includes case studies which reveal the findings of in-depth field research on hitherto neglected regions of the country, and provides a distinctive balance of thematic analysis, conceptual models and empirical research.

Exploring various facets of armed violence and measures to tackle it, the volume provides significant insight into broader issues such as the efficacy of international assistance, the ‘shadow’ economy, warlordism, and the Taliban-led insurgency. In an effort to deconstruct and demystify Afghanistan’s alleged ‘gun culture’, it also explores some of the prevailing obstacles and opportunities facing the country in its transition period. In so doing, the book offers valuable lessons to the state-builders of Afghanistan as well as those of other countries and regions struggling to emerge from periods of transition.


PART 1 - Mapping insecurity: weapons flows and armed groups in Afghanistan

Chapter 1 - Violence in Afghanistan: an overview

Chapter 2 - Small arms flows into and within Afghanistan, by Michael Bhatia

Chapter 3 - Armed groups in Afghanistan, by Michael Bhatia

PART 2 - Addressing the small arms issue: demilitarization and security sector reform in Afghanistan

Chapter 4 - The four pillars of demilitarization in Afghanistan, by Mark Sedra

Chapter 5 - Small arms and security sector reform, by Mark Sedra

PART 3 - Case studies

Chapter 6 - Ghor Province: all against all?, by Michael Bhatia
Chapter 7 - Paktya Province: sources of order and disorder, by Michael Bhatia
Chapter 8 - Kandahar City: the political economy of Coalition deployment, by Michael Bhatia

Chapter 9 - Kunduz, Takhar and Baghlan: parties, strongmen and shifting alliances, by Michael Bhatia

Chapter 10 - Jalalabad: the consequences of Coalition support

Chapter 11 - Hazarajat: Daykundi, Shahristan, Panjab and Syahkhak

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