This honors thesis proposes a hypothetical solution to the political problems facing the modern nation of Afghanistan. Using the model of the Roman Republic as presented by the political theorist Niccolò Machiavelli, I explain what institutions are necessary for the survival and success of a republic. These include a citizen militia composed entirely of equal citizens; “political class tension,” or political compromise between the elite and the common people of a republic through observance of the rule of law; and civic virtue, which stems from participation in these two institutional aspects of a republic and assists in bolstering them.
After this examination of necessary republican components, I describe the institution of constitutional dictatorship, which I devised based on the ideas of Machiavelli and the legal theorist Carl Schmitt. I then use all the institutions and ideas discussed within the framework of a thought exercise to examine possible recommendations for action by a constitutional dictatorship operating in Afghanistan, which are to bolster the Afghan National Army and neutralize the corrupting influence of Afghanistan’s “gentlemen,” or selfishly-motivated partisan leaders. Although the recommendations attempt to be as close to feasible policy as possible, they are not written with the goal of actual implementation in mind due to their lack of empirical basis.
I conclude by examining possible domestic and strategic implications of these hypothetical recommendations. This portion is also not empirically-based, merely concluding the examination of the thought exercise. An appendix uses visual aids to demonstrate the composition of the resulting Afghan government.