The Afghan Government Is Missing From Afghanistan's Peace Process

Government Executive | February 12, 2019

Can a peace process work if it excludes the government of the country in conflict? We may be finding out. At present, there are two distinct efforts underway to bring peace in Afghanistan: In one, Zalmay Khalilzad, the State Department’s special representative for Afghanistan reconciliation, has held several discussions with Taliban leaders. In the other, a meeting in Moscow this month brought together influential Afghans, including former President Hamid Karzai, and Taliban leaders. Conspicuously missing from both? The Afghan government. The absence of President Ashraf Ghani’s democratically elected, internationally recognized administration in a process that could decide the future of his country raises questions about who is deciding what about Afghanistan’s fate; whether the United States’ policy of maintaining troops in Afghanistan until the conditions are right for withdrawal can outlive the wishes of President Donald Trump, who wants to pull out; and whether the Taliban can be trusted to keep any promises it makes.

Spotlight

Thanks to the determined, energetic spirit of everyone who calls Denver home, our city is thriving. Neighborhood by neighborhood, community by community, family by family we are delivering a worldclass city where everyone matters – a city of opportunity for all people. Without question, Denver is a place where people want to be. Time and again, we are recognized nationally for the strength of our economy and livability of our neighborhoods. We are attracting 10,000 to 15,000 new residents a year, along with thousands of new jobs and hundreds of new businesses. Today, 100,000 more people live in Denver than in 2000, with as many as 100,000 more anticipated over the next decade. But this kind of record growth, along with other demands of a booming economy, has put increasing pressures on city government. For instance, annual building permit applications are up more than 200 percent from 2009. We issued more building permits in July 2014 – 7,228 – than in any single month in the past 10 years, requiring more processing, plan reviews and site inspections than ever before. My 2015 budget proposal directly addresses these new and mounting challenges. This spending plan will allow us to grow smart and meet the changing needs of a city that is transforming right before our very eyes, while ensuring we protect neighborhoods, improve public safety, strengthen our social safety net and enhance our overall quality of life.

Spotlight

Thanks to the determined, energetic spirit of everyone who calls Denver home, our city is thriving. Neighborhood by neighborhood, community by community, family by family we are delivering a worldclass city where everyone matters – a city of opportunity for all people. Without question, Denver is a place where people want to be. Time and again, we are recognized nationally for the strength of our economy and livability of our neighborhoods. We are attracting 10,000 to 15,000 new residents a year, along with thousands of new jobs and hundreds of new businesses. Today, 100,000 more people live in Denver than in 2000, with as many as 100,000 more anticipated over the next decade. But this kind of record growth, along with other demands of a booming economy, has put increasing pressures on city government. For instance, annual building permit applications are up more than 200 percent from 2009. We issued more building permits in July 2014 – 7,228 – than in any single month in the past 10 years, requiring more processing, plan reviews and site inspections than ever before. My 2015 budget proposal directly addresses these new and mounting challenges. This spending plan will allow us to grow smart and meet the changing needs of a city that is transforming right before our very eyes, while ensuring we protect neighborhoods, improve public safety, strengthen our social safety net and enhance our overall quality of life.

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