Speaker: Koren, O. (Indiana University, Bloomington)
Date: 6 February 2019
SMA hosted a speaker session presented by Dr. Ore Koren (Indiana University, Bloomington) as a part of its SMA CENTCOM Speaker Series. During his presentation, Dr. Koren focused on a “Victorious, Complementary, Agent” (VCA) approach to the reintegration of the Taliban in Afghanistan. His arguments were based on a combination of cross-national evidence from data on groups from Europe and the Caucasus from 1989-2014, evidence from a case study on Israel, and his ongoing research. Dr. Koren argued that, considering the Taliban’s history, a VCA perspective is helpful to consider. He also stated that integration should focus on security legitimization and that political (re)legitimization should be achieved over time. He then shared some of his power sharing, conflict resolution, political integration, and military integration research. He also defined a VCA and explained the similarities between the Taliban and VCAs. Next, Dr. Koren presented evidence from Israel post-1948 to support his claim that one can look at past experiences with VCAs for guidance when trying to reintegrate the Taliban into Afghan society. He spoke about Lechi, a right-wing extremist group, as well as some of its former affiliates, including Itzchak Shamir and David Shomron. He argued that these Lechi members were “publicly laundered” into Israeli politics after the extremist group was formally disbanded and integrated into the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) in 1948. He then explained this case study’s relevance to Taliban reintegration and highlighted the lessons that can be applied to it. To conclude, Dr. Koren outlined what he thinks the US’s goals regarding the reintegration of the Taliban into Afghan society should be moving forward.
Speaker Session Audio File