ZERO ANTHROPOLOGY

An Alternative Approach to Afghanistan

The military and civilian forces of the United States should leave Afghanistan. The American government has morally and politically disqualified itself from involvement in Afghanistan (and every other place in the world). This freaked out and dark minded killing machine has no business in the affairs of other people. During the past sixty years everything touched by Zionist America has turned to dust–division and instability—from Korea to Palestine to Iran to Vietnam to Middle America to Afghanistan to Iraq. It should retreat and attend to its own declining institutions and decayed infrastructure.

Afghanistan is virtually a black hole and a Bermuda Triangle. Existing packages of knowledge about the country are poorly produced and lack academic integrity. There is an urgent need for systematic and properly produced ethnographic knowledge about the cultural communities and relations of power in Afghanistan. The American obsession with “quick fix” has invited and encouraged the application of defective and anecdotal information. We need to step back and slow down and take a systematic, studied, serious, and sincere look at the cultural, political, and structural rubble of Afghanistan caused by the United States.

Afghanistan should be placed in an international receivership or mandate. No more charades, scams, and hurried pretensions about “president”, “political parties, “elections”, etc. This receivership should be coordinated by an internationally selected National Reconstruction Council of a dozen prominent international social scientists specializing in the anthropology and history of the Middle East, Central and South Asia. The Afghan NRC should be provided with an international diplomatic machinery and necessary material resources with which to create a multinational security force (about 150,000 strong, under a provisional green and white flag) consisting of contributions from the Muslim states only—especially Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, and Turkey. This force would replace the NATO military presence in Afghanistan. The NRC would install a civil and military bureaucracy and concentrate on the installation of educational and security institutions and communication and economic infrastructure.

In the earliest phase of this process we should gradually and systematically produce and coordinate appropriate ethnographic and political knowledge about Afghanistan through original research and from the existing pools of anthropological ethnographies of Afghanistan and the surrounding region. A small consortium of anthropologists (Western and local, selected by AAA and RAI but excluding those American anthropologists who have already collaborated with the American occupational machinery in Afghanistan) of the Middle East should overlook the production of this knowledge.

This international receivership would probably take three K-12 cycles or about forty years by which time Afghanistan would be better prepared to stand on its own political, economic, and security feet. The United States, the European Union, the oil rich Arab states, China, and Russia should underwrite the cost of this rehabilitation and reconstruction program. The United States should absorb the bulk of the cost of the international receivership of Afghanistan. During this receivership the seat of Afghanistan in the United Nations should be suspended.