How to Nation-Build

Ten simple rules from our experience in Afghanistan.

Issue: Summer 2005

For three and a half years, the United States has been engaged with the Afghan people in an ambitious program of state-building. Afghans have a strong sense of national identity, despite their ethnic diversity. The key task has been to establish a legitimate political process and rebuild state institutions. As the president's special envoy and as ambassador to Afghanistan during the past 17 months, I have seen that a nation wracked by a quarter century of occupation and internal conflict can lay the foundation upon which a democratic society can be constructed.

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