The efforts to stabilise Afghanistan since the overthrow of the Taliban regime have involved complex endeavours on the part of diverse actors in the international community, and components of Afghan society at both mass and elite levels. Although the internal Afghan contributions, both positive and negative, should not be underestimated, the focus of this case study is primarily on the activities of the wider world. The story is not a happy one, with dedication on the part of some global actors undermined by incompetence and limited attention span on the part of others. If there is a broader lesson from this case, it is that there can be no international 'quick fixes' for severely disrupted states. This lesson also applies as governments contemplate how best to proceed in Afghanistan from this point.
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