Perilous Passage
I.P. Khosla
AFGHANISTAN IN TRANSITION, BEYOND 2014? by Shanthie Mariet D'Souza Pentagon Press, New Delhi, 2013, 206 pp., 795
February 2013, volume 37, No 2-3

Nowadays, when you mention ‘transition’ in the Afghan context, the definite article gets left out and the first letter capitalized; it becomes ‘Transition’, a proper noun and an entity that will produce a new Afghanistan of uncertain lineament.

That’s because Transition, or Inteqal as the Afghans call it, meaning the departure of foreign military personnel by the end of 2014 and the assumption of full security responsibility by the Afghans themselves, could produce one of several possible outcomes. The two at the extreme ends are easily described, though one is too chilling to contemplate, but is somewhat more likely than the other, which would seem close to hopelessly unattainable. The first is that the Taliban emerge victorious after a shorter or longer civil war, establish themselves in Kabul and the major cities as well as in most of the countryside, except pockets of resistance by Tajik and Uzbek militias in the North, and Shia militias in the West.

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