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        Society for Policy Studies


Hekmatyar is not alone in enjoying impunity. None of the Afghan warlords from the 1990s has been held accountable. That, and the failed disarmament of abusive militias, have crippled reforms needed to build effective government institutions crucial for a lasting peace. As the war churns on, killing an ever-increasing number of civilians, and driving desperate Afghans to join the flood of refugees fleeing to Europe, it’s clear how high a price Afghans have paid for appeasing the warlords.


Whether or not investigators find connections between these bombings and American action in Afghanistan, it is increasingly apparent that America’s public and policy makers alike would rather not address their faraway, largely failed war.


Illiteracy rate is too high in Afghanistan. The country direly needs well-educated people in different sectors to become self-sufficient as currently people of different nationalities are working here to fill the vacuum in the job market.


Afghanistan lags behind neighboring countries in many fields. Many study reports and surveys revealed government skill deficiency. The idea of the government failure is associated with unproductive policies and lack of basic infrastructure to steer the country in the right direction. 

When Aziz Amir was a young man, his mother died from an infection which should have been easy to treat. “She didn’t go to a hospital because she didn’t want to show herself to a male doctor,” says Mr Amir, a trained cardiologist who now owns a private hospital in Kabul.  
When Karzai left office in 2014, he was widely derided as the “mayor of Kabul,” and he had exhausted the patience of key U.S. officials with his continual, public criticism of Americans, whom he described as “demons” when he met with ordinary Afghans. Karzai also presided over one of the most corrupt countries in the world, and members of his family had vastly enriched themselves during his tenure.  

Since the attacks of September 11, the United States has engaged in and with Afghanistan in pursuit of common strategic interests. Our cooperation with the Afghan government and Afghan people remains a key front in a generational conflict against violent extremists across the greater Middle East. Although the extensive turmoil there leads some to believe that the United States is incapable of playing a constructive role in stabilizing and transforming the region’s politics and security situation, we cannot escape this conflict. To succeed, we need, above all, allies in the region with whom we can partner militarily and politically. Our strategies and policies going forward should include ensuring the success of this American-Afghan partnership.


Fifteen years ago, the tragedy of September 11, 2001 directly resulted from complete state failure in Afghanistan. This followed the international community’s negligence toward Afghanistan’s post-Cold War stabilization and reconstruction after the withdrawal of the Soviet forces from the country in 1989. For a decade (1979-1989), in order to defeat communism, the United States and its allies effectively capitalized on Afghans’ firm determination to free their country from the occupation of the former Soviet Union. When this strategic goal was achieved, Afghanistan was pushed back into America’s foreign policy blind spot.


For a decade Afghanistan was largely ignored. Then, 15 years ago today, the pendulum of global interest swung to the opposite extreme. Within a month of the terrorist attacks on 11 September 2001, the US, closely backed by the UK, launched military operations, vowing to defeat the Taliban and bring democracy to the country. We heard over and over that this was a just war, and it was a moral imperative to intervene and defeat the evil of the Taliban. Failure, they said, was not an option.


Healthy criticism is beauty of democracy. Therefore, the government has listened to the criticism and responded positively at some occasions by bringing changes in policies. The foreign policy of the unity government is very successful. The internal policy will also prove productive if the leaders reached consensus on all major issues and removed the internal differences. The leaders in the halls of power are realizing it; though late. But it is better to be late than never. Their agreement on the policies and ways to secure the national interests and improve lives of the common people is crucial especially at this critical juncture.


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The Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Mohammad and others of their ilk not only destabilise Pakistan and make it one of the world's most dangerous places but also threaten neighbouring Afghanistan and India -- and even far...

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