As with any situation of peacebuilding, the regional reality must be taken into consideration. Regional stability is as important as the stability in any given country. Such an argument is clearly rooted in a theory known as the “domino theory”. Basically this theory points out that if one country falls into chaos it is likely that the surrounding countries are likely to fall as well. The reverse is also possible, if a country takes a firm grasp of peace the surrounding countries are more likely to become peaceful as well. Of course there are many factors, one being size. A small country of a few million people would not have much impact on a large country that has a population in the hundreds of millions, for example North Korea and China.
One such example where neighbouring countries are very similar and can influence each other are the countries of South Western Asia. Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran are the most notable in this political region. The others are .
Each of those countries are experiencing a society that has endured violent conflict in the past twenty years. This experience has impacted the region to a point where it is difficult to say that it is a peaceful region. Further to that each country has a population that have been nomadic throughout history so they have a deep history of shared culture and trade.
At first though there is usually a thought that this region has been at war for hundreds of years. However that is an outsider looking in. Being a nomadic people they would have had regular contact with other cultures. Given the fact that many cultures exist, cooperation and peaceful relations must have been the norm. However the nomadic culture is a difficult one to bring into a society such as the modern world sees society.
This region is one where a governing system needs to be invented. I am not sure we have a system in place that will adequately deal with the cultural needs of these people. To me this is a very positive element for peace because only the people of this region can say what governing system they want.
The British tried to implement a system in this region as did Russia try. Now the United Nations along with a great many peacebuilding organizations have offices and programs throughout the region. Within Afghanistan, a consortium of countries are trying to build a system.
The one area that the world can assist this region is with economic relations. Most of the political governance needs to be left up to the people. I think that this understanding is just now sinking in after more than a century of poorly executed military efforts.