The Pashtunwali's Relevance as a Tool for Solving the "Afghan Crisis"
The author cross-references Atayee's "A Dictionary of the Terminology of Pashtun's Tribal Customary Law and Usages", by far the most extensive description of the elements of the Pashtunwali, with the ethnographer Willi Steul's landmark study. By doing so, he hopes to have laid the groundwork and indeed to have contributed to a more in-depth understanding of the Pashtuns' tribal code of social regulation and code of honor as well as the underlying norm sanction complex. His goal is not only to
... form academic theoretical legal and cultural studies. In 2009, this socio-anthropological material was of the utmost importance in understanding the dynamics unleashed by yet another round of large-scale systemic interventions. The author hoped that this analysis would convince Western decision-makers that the wise thing to do was to approach the fighting enemy from the socio-cultural tribal angle instead of "taking the fight to the enemy" by outsourcing fighting al-Quaeda to tribal militias. In 2022, sadly enough, we witness what happened by ensuing a militaristic approach and precluding collaboration with the conservative parts among the local population in rural southern Pashtun-dominated provinces. Nevertheless, the value of the analysis extends beyond the specific current Afghan/South Asian conundrum. It has intrinsic value in that it represents a case study of the relevance of socio-cultural factors for conflict dynamics and the design of related military interventions. In addition, it also has tremendous implications for the framing of sustainable interventions in the realms of political and economic governance, as well as socio-economic development programming, the design of related projects, and their respective operationalization in terms of implementation and oversight modalities.