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From stalemate to settlement: lessons for Afghanistan from historical insurgencies that have been resolved through negotiation

From stalemate to settlement: lessons for Afghanistan from historical insurgencies that have been resolved through negotiation

Clarke, Colin P., author; Paul, Christopher, 1971- author

"In June 2013, the Afghan Taliban opened a political office in Qatar to facilitate peace talks with the U.S. and Afghan governments. Negotiations between the United States and the group that sheltered al-Qaeda would have been unthinkable 12 years ago, but the reality is that a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan is one of several possible end games under the current U.S. withdrawal plan. Negotiating an end to an insurgency can be a long and arduous process beset by false starts and continued violence, but a comprehensive review of historical cases that ended in settlement shows that these negotiations followed a similar path that can be generalized into a "master narrative." This research examines 13 historical cases of insurgencies that were resolved through negotiated settlement in which neither side (insurgents or counterinsurgents) unambiguously prevailed. Taken together, these cases reveal that the path to negotiated settlement generally proceeds in seven steps in a common sequence. Although this resulting master narrative does not necessarily conform precisely to every conflict brought to resolution through negotiation, it can serve as an important tool to guide the progress of a similar approach to resolving the conflict in Afghanistan as U.S. forces prepare to withdraw."--Provided by publisher

eBook, Paperback, Electronic resource, Book. English. History. Electronic books.
Published Santa Monica, CA : RAND 2014

This resource is available electronically from the following locations


Statement of responsibility: Colin P. Clarke, Christopher Paul ; prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense
ISBN: 0833082426, 0833082442, 9780833082374, 9780833082428, 9780833082442
Note: "Approved for public release; distribution unlimited."
Note: "This report builds on previous RAND Corporation research on the demonstrated effectiveness of a variety of concepts for counterinsurgency ... at the core of the current research is an analysis of the correlates and conditions of negotiated settlements in historical insurgencies."--Preface.
Note: Online resource; title from PDF title page (RAND, viewed November 5, 2014).
Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Physical Description: 1 online resource (xvii, 73 pages) : illustrations (some color).
Series: RAND Corporation research report series ; RR469
Subject: Insurgency History.; LAW International.; Insurgency Afghanistan.; Afghanistan.; Insurgency.; POLITICAL SCIENCE Security (National & International); Peace-building.; Mediation, International.
Series Title: Research report (Rand Corporation) ; RR469.
Local note: JSTOR Books at JSTOR Open Access


  1. Preface.
  2. Introduction.
  3. How to reach a negotiated settlement in counterinsurgency warfare.
  4. Methods: getting to a master narrative.
  5. The master narrative.
  6. Sequences in the individual cases.
  7. Extended example: Northern Ireland, 1969-1999.
  8. Twelve additional cases of historical insurgency settled through negotiation.
  9. Following the master narrative toward an end game in Afghanistan.
  10. Conclusion.
  11. References.