From our partners at The Agonist
Brian Brady & Jonathan Owen | Sept 9
The Independent – Afghanistan could be carved into eight separate “kingdoms” – with some of them potentially ruled by the Taliban – according to a controversial plan under discussion in London and Washington.
Code-named “Plan C”, the radical blueprint for the future of Afghanistan sets out reforms that would relegate President Hamid Karzai to a figurehead role.
Devised by the Conservative MP and Foreign Office aide Tobias Ellwood, it warns that the country faces a “bleak” future when it is left to fend for itself. Mr Ellwood claims that a “regionalised” state under a powerful new prime minister would tackle the weak government, tribal disputes and corruption which many fear could plunge Afghanistan into chaos when the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) withdraws at the end of 2014.
Senior government sources confirmed that Plan C – Finding a political solution to Afghanistan had been presented to the Foreign Secretary, William Hague, and discussed with officials at the White House. Mr Ellwood, a former captain in the Royal Green Jackets, has also discussed the plan with Pakistani government officials in London.
But experts criticised the attempt to “impose” a democratic system on Afghanistan, and insisted that coalition leaders should be concentrating on a military exit strategy that would enable them to withdraw their forces by the 2014 deadline.