Located in Kabul, Afghanistan, CAPS is an independent, research centre that strives to conduct action-oriented research which will influence policy-makers. It works diligently towards building local capacity to produce conflict and threat assessments that will influence the safety and security of the people serving the governments, and international aid organizations.
Mar 31, 2010
General Michael Flynn Visits CAPS
On Monday, March 29, 2010 the Centre for Conflict and Peace Studies (CAPS) hosted Major General Michael Flynn, Chief CJ2, and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), with the additional appointment as the CJ2 US Forces- Afghanistan. General Flynn along with his delegation met CAPS researchers and analysts to discuss ways in which CAPS could assist ISAF in meeting the complexity of security and state-building challenges in Afghanistan.
Major General Flynn began the meeting by acknowledging CAPS for its efforts in the areas of research, analysis and education/training, which he believed facilitated the international community in achieving the demands of peace-building in Afghanistan. He elaborated upon the importance of sustaining political stability in Afghanistan, which he deems will stand as a beacon of hope for the rest of the region. “Believing in the future,” stated General Flynn, “is what CAPS activities are all about.” In view of the rapidly deteriorating security climate over the past few years, Major General Flynn reassured CAPS that ISAF had not lost hope in the war against militancy and exclaimed that his deepest hope was for the Afghan people to not lose faith in international forces.
Mr. Hekmat Karzai, Director at CAPS, provided an elaborate overview outlining some of CAPS most recent activities and projects. Mr. Karzai reiterated to General Flynn that CAPS hoped to serve as partners with the international community. Mr. Karzai also briefed General Flynn on CAPS trust building measures and processes of dialogue with the insurgency. In this presentation, various training programs that CAPS frequently engages in with Foreign Forces, such as its ‘Pre-Deployment Training Curriculum’ were described to the delegation. The CAPS team also briefed General Flynn on counter-insurgency efforts from a local perspective which was both well received and held great significance to the current paradigm of reconciliation and reintegration as proclaimed by the President of Afghanistan.
During the question session, Major General Flynn shared some of his views with the CAPS team, starting off with an experience he recently had at an international conference on Afghanistan. He described his disappointment when he realized that not a single Afghan perspective was present at the conference. Nonetheless, General Flynn, happy with our outreach programs concurred with Mr. Karzai that Afghans must take the lead and that “peace in Afghanistan was so close.” Speaking about General McChrystal’s population centric approach, General Flynn described Afghanistan as a human body that required positive messages to stay healthy. He said that when the Afghan people and the international community begin to think that we’re losing the war it becomes vital at that very moment to resume to positive thoughts in order to overcome the challenges. He pledged that ISAF had learned from its past mistakes and that it was now time to be proactive with a new message and to do this effectively, he affirmed “Afghans must be that messenger.” Referencing CAPS, the General said “your programs will help us (ISAF) get this message across.”
Major General Flynn proceeded to compliment CAPS on its Youth Initiative, described briefly by Mr. Karzai during the meeting. “We will shura (council) our way to success” explained General Flynn. “We are in a new era of history and we can not fall back into a failed state dilemma in Afghanistan. The leadership of Afghanistan has to be honest with its self and to do this they must look internally. ISAF is dedicated to Afghanistan, but Afghans must look at what it can fix and then what it cannot, the government can ask the international community to assist with.” Youth Shura, Major General Flynn suggested will assist the Afghan government and international community to realize the objectives that matter the most to the next generation of Afghan leaders. “I haven’t heard of one youth shura being held in Afghanistan, Afghans should have these shuras to develop objectives that are then translated into the big shuras” contending General Flynn.
CAPS participants in the meeting included, Mr. Hekmat Karzai, Ms. Mariam Safi, senior research analysts Mr. Saifullah Ahmadzai, Mr. Muhammad Ajmal Khan Karimi and Abdul Halim Achakzai, Mr. Aminullah Wardak , Researcher/Journalist, Dr. Zeerak Yousofi, Administrator of the Legal Program, Mr. Razaq Balauch, Director of the Youth Initiative for Peace and Mr. Hakim Qaumi, Director of the Legal Program.
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