From Bonn to London: Governance Challenges and the Future of Statebuilding in Afghanistan

Following the four-year Bonn Agreement implementation period, from December 2001 to December 2005, the London Conference on Afghanistan was convened, 31 January – 1 February, to reaffirm the commitment of world leaders to the next phase of statebuilding and reform in Afghanistan. The central document of this gathering, the Afghanistan Compact, sets forth a number of time-bound benchmarks for the next five years in the areas of security, governance and development. This article examines key aspects of the compact and what will be required for the government of Afghanistan to meet the various targets, along with the support of the international community. Policy recommendations are further advanced to facilitate reconstruction efforts and to sustain a sufficient level of international engagement to avert failure in Afghanistan.