Since 2010, the Afghan Peace and Reintegration Program (APRP) has tried to reintegrate insurgents. Incentives in the form of security and jobs are supposed to entice fighters and cut their ties with al-Qaeda. However, the insurgents have mainly been recruited to the Afghan Local Police. This recruitment could quite possibly make matters worse, by intensifying local rivalries instead of bringing peace, according to Deedee Derksen.

So far, the achievements of the APRP have been limited. In the PRIO Paper “Peace From the Bottom-Up? The Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Program” in cooperation with the United States Institute of Peace and Chr. Michelsen Institute, Derksen ascertains that the implementation of the processes of reintegrating lower-level fighters and higher-level political dialogue has been painfully slow.

Derksen points to a lack of a coherent political approach as the major limitation in the APRP. Reintegration is not embedded in a wider peace process, and there is a division between and within the international community and the Afghan government. In addition to this, neither the international actors nor the Afghan government are willing to change their behavior.

Still, it is of the utmost importance to keep the peacebuilding and the reintegration process going. In order to succeed, Derksen recommends that reintegration should be linked with reconciliation, that the actors need to focus on quality, not on speed, and that local processes should be supported.