April 14, 2013 by civilvision
This vision-network is for those who recognize that the coming months in 2013-2014 represent a critical juncture in the history of Afghanistan, with very high stakes in the midst of major security transitions and national elections. The desires of the Afghan people can and must shape Afghanistan’s future, and both the Afghan government and international partners must be responsive to those desires. The tyranny and interference of foreign-based extremist groups like the Taliban, who mask their fascism in religious language, must not be allowed to usurp that future, nor must the impunity of thugs and criminals whose only legitimacy comes through violent intimidation remain the status quo.
Citizens everywhere have a stake in the Afghan people’s struggle for stability, peace, and freedom. The United States in particular, which has suffered the blows of the same brands of violent extremism that have plagued Afghanistan, shares vital national interests and bears a moral responsibility (incurred through the decision to intervene) in Afghanistan’s healing and reconstruction as a free, self-governing nation. But the answers do not lie in troop or dollar-numbers. The solutions are not found at elite national or international meetings of government officials. The genius is with the people, and the most important task of those who seek to serve Afghanistan, whether as officials in her government or friends abroad, is to listen to their vision.
This citizen-network first and foremost seeks to listen to the vision of the Afghan people, recognizing in particular the extraordinary potential of Afghanistan’s new generation of leaders. We acknowledge the risks posed by instability, exclusionary deal-making, and competing visions which reject the role and voice of citizens. This is the time for citizens, both in Afghanistan and abroad to connect, to unify, and to act – not against our governments but FOR a shared vision, urging our governments to take a long-term, citizen-oriented approach to policy.