Research question

Theresearch question is-

“Howcan a military intervention in the Afghanistan armed conflict beconducted in a way that does not violate human rights and be able torestore peace and stability in the country?”


To satisfactorily address the research question, this researchproposal draws upon two major theories, which explain the existenceof an armed conflict in the first place, and how intervention can beaffected in a humanitarian manner. The Afghanistan armed conflict wastriggered as a response by the United States towards the infamousSeptember 2011 attacks on the U.S soil. The attacks were instigatedby the outlawed terror organization, the Al-Qaeda. As such, the mostapplicable theory explaining the cause of the war is the socialconflict theory. This theory holds that an armed conflict can befueled by a struggle for agency and power in the society (Andrew2011, p.12). The theory holds that people get in conflict when theyattempt to acquire certain control on the society, and stop theopposing group from satisfying their interests. The theory alsoemphasizes on interests, without drawing much from norms and values.The Afghanistan conflict, in this light, is a social conflict betweenthe Islamic fighters and the Western world.

The paper will draw on the implications of the historic missiontheory, which is a theory of armed intervention. According to thistheory, the optimum mission of entering armed conflict is bringingstability, and saving a country. The major objective is to help thecountry in question to advance politically, socially and economically(Stepan 2015, p.32). Whenever a given military force is assigned tointervene in a certain country’s armed conflict, it is imperativethat they carry out the mission in a unitary and organized structure.As such, they are supposed to intervene in matters that tamper withthe given country’s economic and social stability. In Afghanistan,for instance, the issues are the existence of terrorist groups andextremist ideologies.


This research will use peer reviewed and published scholarly articlesthat address the dynamics of armed conflict. Research articles byrenowned political matters author, and authors conversant in mattersof international conflict, will be used to explain the nature of thearmed conflict in Afghanistan, from the viewpoint of maintainingpeace and stability. The researcher will also use Google Scholar’speer reviewed articles database to gather some articles that touch onpolitical issues and war intervention. These are articles thataddress the issue from political, social, economic and militaristicperspectives. The information that is analyzed in these papersencompasses the opinions of major stakeholders in armed conflictresolution, such as the United Nations (UN) and affiliated aidprograms that are involved armed conflicts.

Relevanceof study

As of present, there are divided opinions on how allied militaryactions are handling the situation in Afghanistan. During the firststages of the war, the objective of the military intervention was tokill the leader of Al-Qaeda, and as such, exterminate the group.However, the manner in which the U.S troops have handled thesituation raises concerns about the humanitarian situation in thecountry. As such, the findings of the research will help in finding away forward for effective armed intervention in Afghanistan, whichwill prioritize restoration of peace and stability, all in a humanmanner.

Annotated bibliography

Mangold,Peter.&nbspSuperpowerIntervention in the Middle East (Routledge Revivals).Routledge, 2013.

This book looks at the involvementof the Western powers in the Middle East armed conflicts. The UnitedStates and The United Kingdom spearhead the military intervention inAfghanistan, and have a major say in the direction that the situationon the ground takes. The author looks at the requisites of militarypolicy, which address the issue of the role that a military forceoccupies in a military conflict, and the limits of their actions. Atthe same time, the book addresses the economic issues that arepertinent to the Middle East wars, which are oil and power. InAfghanistan conflict, some people have claimed that the Western’sinvolvement is focused on controlling the Middle East, and divertedaway from the focus of the main objective.

This book will help the researcherto determine the extent of involvement of the military inAfghanistan, as it looks at cases that are unique to the Middle East.At the same time, the book addresses the risks of superpowerintervention, which in most cases may lead to an outbreak of majorwars, such as the 60s’ Vietnamese wars. Given this observation, theresearch will be in a position to outline the possible positivetactics that the military can use to stop an occurrence of an evenmore serious war. Finally, by addressing the cost of military policyin intervention, the book will be helpful when it comes to givingadvice on the budgetary controls that can be put in place whenintervening in armed conflict. The book’s conclusions andrecommendations are also relevant to the topic of discussion in theresearch paper.

Payandeh,Mehrdad. &quotThe United Nations, Military Intervention, and RegimeChange in Libya.&quot Virginia Journal of International Law 52, no.2 (2012).

This paper is written on military intervention in armed conflicts,with special reference to the Libyan case. The author establishes thehistorical context and framework of the entire security system in acountry where political and social unrest has led to turmoil, anduses the same to construct a legal framework for militaryintervention. Additionally, he examines the position of the UnitedNations Security Council, and their legal capacity to involve themilitary in local matters. This is in acknowledgment of thecomplaints from the Arab League that the NATO did not have the legalpermission to interfere in some aspects of the Libyan conflict. Theconflict was started as part of the Arab wave that ousted regimesthat had been dubbed tyrannical. In Libya, armed conflict led to theouster of Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi, who besides previouslybeing accused collaborating with terrorists, had declared war onrevolutionaries.

Thepaper will be important in assessing the role of the internationalcommunity in regulating military intervention in war zones. Thesituation in Afghanistan has already blown beyond proportions, andhas had the entire globe being involved in matters affecting thecountry’s security situation. At the same time, using the analysison systematic violation of human rights in Libya by the military, thepaper will guide this research through that process of proposingpossible strategies to avert the same in Afghanistan. Alsoimportantly, the paper will guide on how to handle the situation oncethe perpetrators of violence in a war zone are neutralized, drawingupon the actions of the international community and local securityagencies in Libya after the regime change.

Saghafi-Ameri,Nasser. June 2011. “Prospects for Peace and Stability inAfghanistan”. Afghanistan Regional Dialogue Background Paper No.1.

The author approaches the issue of the Afghanistan armed conflict bybeginning with the acknowledgement of the problems that the Obamaadministration is facing in the country at the moment, as regards tothe involvement of the American military in the war. As of present,there is growing support from all quarters on the issue of Americasetting up a permanent military base in Afghanistan. The rationalebehind this is to have a plan in place for the development ofsustainable peace building framework, which will help the country toregain stability. However, while still striving to achieve this, theObama administration has to find a way of doing away withhumanitarian issues that the American military officers are beingassociated accused with. This, the author focuses on the concept ofpeace and security in Afghanistan, and the idea on the U.S is takingover from the Taliban, which is blamed for causing havoc in thecountry.

Thispaper will guide the formulation of a strategy for militaryapproaches that can be used to regain stability in Afghanistan. Itspecifically outlines previous attempts by the American military totake over from the extremists. Using the information that the authorhas analyzed, the paper will pinpoint any failures that have led todeterioration of the situation in the country. At the same time, thisresearch paper will use the analysis on internal dynamics in armedconflict intervention, which are clearly outlined in advanced stages.One of the major dynamics is historical legacy, which draws upon thehistoric mission theory, which is part of the paper’s theoreticalframework.

Sebolt,Taylor B. 2007. “Humanitarian Military Intervention: The Conditionsfor Success or Failure.” Oxford University Press.

This book, published by the Oxford University Press, covers the topicof humanitarian military intervention in armed conflicts. The bookbegins by defining the judgment of success or failure of suchengagements. While doing this, the author reviews militaryhumanitarian dilemmas that have been documented before, and how thetypology of humanitarian military intervention looks like. The mainconcepts in the book are secessionism, state oppression, independenceand logical assistance in times of war. To explain the mattersclearly, the author refers to previous situations that have neededthe intervention of the military to restore calm and order. Theauthor also focuses on how humanitarian aid operations can be carriedout by the military and how victims who are caught up in the war canbe assisted.

Thebook will be useful in explaining strategies that militaries can useto defeat the perpetrators of violence. In Iraq, these people includethe leaders of terror organizations, religious leaders who propagatehate through extremist sermons, fighters aligned with outlawed groupsand suicide bombers. While the author recognizes that there are avariety of strategies that can be used to defeat enemies inincidences of armed conflict, not all work to provide the desiredoutcomes, as far as humanitarian involvement is concerned. At thesame time, the information will guide the determination of prospectsfor success and the limits of humanitarian intervention in armedconflicts. This will be helpful in deciding on the best strategiesthat can be used in Afghanistan.

Sharp,Jeremy M., and Christopher M. Blanchard. &quotArmed conflict inSyria: The US and International response.&quot Library of CongressWashington D.C Congressional Research Service, 2012.

This paper is commissioned by theCongress Research Service. The authors look at the armed conflict inSyria, and the attention that the international community has givenit so far. The Syrian case is unique, as the fight is between thegovernment, armed militias, extremists, local mercenaries, andinternational militaries. The unrest emerged as part of the Arabuprising of 2011, as warring factions fought to remove PresidentBashir from the presidency, and replace him with a democraticallyelected president. While evaluating the course that the conflict hastaken, the author pays close attention to the role that theinternational community has played, especially by sending theirmilitary to participate in the war. To put it in perspective, theauthor analyzes the complex and difficult challenges for U.S policymakers, as far as military intervention is concerned.

Thisarticle is chosen for two main reasons. First, it addresses an issuethat is similar to what is happening in Afghanistan. In Afghanistan,the conflict involves government, armed militias, extremists, localmercenaries, and international militaries. It is very likely that theimplications of the war in Syria on the civilians and the nationaldevelopment agenda will be replicated in Afghanistan. Secondly, theauthor sets aside a section that looks that the possible outcomes ofthe conflict, which can be helpful in formulating a strategy forAfghanistan in the coming years. At the same time, having beencommissioned by the Congress, the findings of the paper are relevantto this particular research.

Wood,Reed M., Jacob D. Kathman, and Stephen E. Gent. &quotArmedintervention and civilian victimization in intrastate conflicts.&quotJournal of Peace Research 49, no. 5 (2012): 647-660.

This paper focuses on the relationship between the dynamics of armedconflict and the amount of civilian victimization in a war zone.While building the argument, the author focused on the role thatlocal governments play and that of the insurgent organizations inarmed conflicts. However, the paper takes a civil war standpoint,addressing the issue on a social and economic perspective. The firstacknowledgment made by the author is that armed conflicts often leadto the deprivation of critical resources, hence influencing theconflict to take the turn of resource control. Secondly, given thedeclining abilities of local governments to install policies tocontrol the way the nation is run, the military’s participation ismade complex.

One of the strong aspects of the paper is that it addresses themotives and expectations of armed conflict intervention. The authorrightfully acknowledges that belligerents are likely to resort toindiscriminate means of violence, when they are attempting to changethe strategic landscape. This is the case in Afghanistan, as theextremists are turning on the locals who they accuse of being“traitors”, “sympathizers” and “infidels’. At the sametime, the author addresses the capabilities and war strategies, andpower shifts in armed conflict. The author also gives a statisticalanalysis, detailing the trends of possible civilian deaths in armedconflicts, which significantly influence the outcomes of engagement.Using this information, this research can give the way forward on howto address the situation on the ground in Afghanistan, in an attemptto have a fruitful military intervention.


Bourke,Andrew FG.&nbspPrinciplesof social evolution.Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011.

Mangold, Peter.&nbspSuperpowerIntervention in the Middle East (Routledge Revivals).Routledge, 2013.

Payandeh, Mehrdad. &quotThe United Nations, Military Intervention,and Regime Change in Libya.&quot Virginia Journal of InternationalLaw 52, no. 2 (2012).

Saghafi-Ameri, Nasser. June 2011. “Prospects for Peace andStability in Afghanistan”. Afghanistan Regional Dialogue BackgroundPaper No.1.

Sebolt, Taylor B. 2007. “Humanitarian Military Intervention: TheConditions for Success or Failure”. Oxford University Press.

Sharp, Jeremy M., and ChristopherM. Blanchard. &quotArmed conflict in Syria: US and Internationalresponse.&quot Library of Congress Washington D.C CongressionalResearch Service, 2012.

Stepan, Alfred C.&nbspThemilitary in politics: changing patterns in Brazil.Princeton University Press, 2015.

Wood, Reed M., Jacob D. Kathman, and Stephen E. Gent. &quotArmedintervention and civilian victimization in intrastate conflicts.&quotJournal of Peace Research 49, no. 5 (2012): 647-660.