Riz Khan
Cultural engagement in Afghanistan
Are European nations moving beyond a military solution towards Afghanistan?
Last Modified: 16 Mar 2010 09:34 GMT

More than nine years after the US invaded Afghanistan to drive out the Taliban, the country is still suffering from prolonged violence, poverty and instability.

The US and its allies sent in thousands of troops and poured billions of dollars to stabilise Afghanistan, but there has been no discernable progress.

Observers say the focus on a military solution by the US and its allies has alienated many Afghans and revived the Taliban.

Earlier this month in Brussels, a British Council-Nato conference proposed cultural engagement with the Afghan people as the way forward.

Speakers said it was critical to understand Afghan perceptions and help them take ownership of their social, political and economic institutions.


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Nato was also urged to shed its purely military role and assist civilian groups with Afghanistan's institution building, governance and judiciary.

On Monday's Riz Khan show, we ask: Are European nations moving beyond a military solution towards Afghanistan, and will a policy of cultural engagement work?

Joining the conversation will be two men who attended the Brussels conference: Robin Davies, part of the British Council's Europe Team programme there, and George Gachara, a Kenyan youth leader.

Gachara has worked actively towards resolving tribal divisions in his country and we will examine if some of those solutions can be applied to Afghanistan.

This episode of the Riz Khan show aired on Monday, March 15, 2010.

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