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Unjust Disorder? Impunity and Insecurity in Post-2001 Afghanistan

Theros, Marika and Iavor Rangelov (2013) “Unjust Disorder? Impunity and Insecurity in Post-2001 Afghanistan”. ECFR Background Paper: International Justice and the Prevention of Atrocities, ECFR, London.

A decade ago, Barnett Rubin argued that there was a “consensus on caution” about transitional justice in Afghanistan because of pervasive fears that “destabilizing the current post 2001 order risks a return to the unjust disorder from which Afghanistan has barely emerged.”  Today, the situation in the country could be described precisely as “unjust disorder”: a combination of impunity and insecurity.  This paper examines Afghanistan’s repeated cycles of violence and abuse, the failure to pursue accountability after the US-led military intervention in 2001, and the effects of impunity and incorporation of perpetrators in power structures on the dynamics of conflict.  It concludes by locating the failure of justice seeking in Afghanistan in the broader context of the War on Terror.


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