Ahead of the appointment of a new UN envoy for Afghanistan, the authors of this report call on EU and US governments to overhaul their strategies and strike a 'grand bargain' to stabilise the country. In particular, they urge EU governments to deploy more troops in Afghanistan, to relax restrictions (caveats) on their troops, and to reverse the decline in development aid. In exchange, the US should accept a shift from a strategy based on combat operations to one focused on overall political impact, and the protection of ordinary civilians across the country. It should also abandon its failed counter-narcotics strategy.
The European Council on Foreign Relations does not take collective positions. This paper, like all publications of the European Council on Foreign Relations, represents only the views of its authors.