Eighteen years ago in early May, Mujahedeen resistance fighters entered Kabul, laying claim to Afghanistan’s capital after the collapse of the Communist regime. At the time, the city had not been severely damaged by warfare and Soviet occupation. The 18 years since then have not been kind to Kabul, though.Continue reading
The development of Afghanistan’s agricultural sector has been overlooked by the international community, despite the fact that roughly 80 percent of the Afghan population lives in rural areas and scratches out a meager existence from the land. In trying to rectify the existing situation, the international community would do well to look to Brazil for answers.Continue reading
When citizens of NATO allies look at the record of failure of military interventions in Afghanistan over the past century-and-a-half, they may be tempted to ask: “What chance of success does NATO have?” People should realize, however, that comparing the present-day stabilization mission to past military adventures is not appropriate.Continue reading
It is true that Afghanistan and Pakistan are fighting a common enemy in the Taliban and al Qaeda. But the nature of insurgency and engagement is quite different in the two countries. The Pakistani military is fighting an insurgency mainly against its own people. It’s different in Afghanistan: government forces are fighting both local militants and terrorist mercenaries that primarily infiltrate from, and are trained and equipped by, elements from across the country’s southeastern border.Continue reading
The world annually celebrates Refugee Day in late June, an event that helps raise awareness about the plight, courage, and resilience of the world’s refugees. By contrast, internally displaced persons have no day of their own. It is time for this discrepancy to change.Continue reading
Almost twelve years have passed since the fall of the Taliban in Afghanistan, but peace remains elusive. Four interlocking challenges with internal, regional, transnational, and international dimensions impede Afghanistan’s stabilization and reconstruction. Each challenge facing Afghanistan feeds off the others, and together they have engendered a vicious circle that is destabilizing the country.
The challenges currently facing Afghanistan and the US-led international coalition are cumulative. They did not pop up overnight. They have been evolving since the Taliban was driven from power in late 2001. In the case of narcotics trafficking, failure to properly assess the problem’s causes and effects is encouraging misperceptions.
As Americans reflect on the tragic events of seven years ago, they should also recall that the September 11 terrorist attacks caused the international spotlight to refocus on Afghanistan. The US-led invasion in late 2001 succeeded in driving the Taliban from power, and paved the way for a humanitarian success story. Of late, however, the international commitment to Afghanistan seems to have lost traction. One way that Americans can honor the September 11 victims is by keeping Afghan reconstruction efforts on course, and doing their part to ensure that millions of Afghan refugees feel secure enough to return home.Continue reading