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Forum LockedWhere is Afghanistan Headed?

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    Posted: 31-Oct-2008 at 04:55
Where is Afghanistan Headed?
 
Where do you think Afghainstan is headed? After 7 years after the Taliban were removed from power, Afghanistan has gotten worse than it started out. Karzai's administration has lost credibility at home and abroad. Afghanistan's biggest export is Heroine, corruption is rampant in all aspects of civil administration, The Taliban still pose a great threat to most of the country, and there is even talks that they are collaberating with warlords supposedly loyal to Karzai's administration.

I think everybody is aware that this experiment in Democracy will take time to bear fruit but if the root of this democracy is corrupt, what chance does the fruit have?

What kind of Afghanistan do we know when millionaire mansions exist next to squalid tents of evicted poor people?


Internally displaced Refugees in Tents while Warlord Mansions are seen in the background.

Lately I have become rather disallusioned with the situation there. Instead of seeing some progress we are going backwards instead of forward. Even in one of the Presidential debates, they even questioned if a Dictatorship would work in Afghanistan and nobody disagreed.

Thats been one of my greatest fears for Afghanistan, yet I know it's inevitable. So long as Karzai and regimes similar to his are in power, we have only more of the same to look forward to. When the pipeline is built, expect the Taliban and government forces to protect it. Afghanistan will just be secured for the pipeline, the money will fuel the corrupt government, and most of the people will remain destitute with infrastructure being built at a slow pace. I think in the next 15-20 years the government will face a revolution and Afghanistan will be ripe for another bloodletting.

What are your thoughts to where Afghanistan is headed?


Edited by Afghanan - 31-Oct-2008 at 04:56
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote es_bih Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Oct-2008 at 05:08
The problem with Karzai is that he has been a Cheney puppet from the get go. And the only reason he is president is due to that connection.

Now as far as Afghanisan it is hard to say, it depends to a degree on the election. McCain's "100 years in Iraq" can't mean good for Afghanistan if the country and the coalition mean to fight the Taliban any longer.

It seems that we are back to square one in a lot of ways nevertheless in Afghanistan, taking off the Mullah from the blacklist is one interesting feature of this situation. Talking to the Taliban as an option would not have been considered even six months ago, when the situation was not much better. Now with dwindling sucess talking to the Taliban seems a reasonable option by the coalition. Which effectively overturns the 2001 situation. With the Taliban becoming the Northern Alliance in matters of having control of outskirts, and the main coalition with the help of the US and allies in control of "most" of the country. That most can be argued as well. Unfortunately that is not a good option for Afghanistan. Without effective unity and quelling of any localized forms of government, and effective wresting of control by local warlords the sitaution may deterriorate even further.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Oct-2008 at 06:27
Well Karzai was never the US's first choice.  He was elected after their original strong man Abdul Haq was executed by the Taliban while trying to raise tribes against them. 
 
 
Karzai was their second choice and probably Ghani and Khalilzad were their 3rd and 4th.  Haq's other brother was killed by a rival warlord.  Ghani left after realizing that the deals with warlords was going to ruin the administration and wanted to get as far away from that as possible.  Khalilzad has moved on to bigger things in Iraq, and now there aren't many choices available.
 
Its kind of hard to see Afghanistan under a strong government, but I believe if enough stagnation occurs in the civil administration and government, the people will rise up against it.  I think America is looking for a strong leader, like a dictator to rule the country with an Iron First, like the Iron Emir - Abdur Rahman Khan who forged Afghanistan in the late 19th century.
 
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote es_bih Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Oct-2008 at 07:50
A strongman will only complicate things. Plus throw the already falttering balance of power on more unstable ground. What is needed is to turn the clock back to '01 and get rid of heavy reliance on war lords. Ironically the only way out of the mess is the strong democratic government that was never created. Favoritism has brought instability, aside without allied troops (US & co) the strong man would fail miserably, too.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gharanai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Oct-2008 at 13:46
Originally posted by Afghanan Afghanan wrote:

 
Its kind of hard to see Afghanistan under a strong government, but I believe if enough stagnation occurs in the civil administration and government, the people will rise up against it.  I think America is looking for a strong leader, like a dictator to rule the country with an Iron First, like the Iron Emir - Abdur Rahman Khan who forged Afghanistan in the late 19th century.
  
 
I totaly agree with your words of an Iron Fist leader, I mean countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan could not be controlled by Democracy but only and only by dictatorship.
What I am looking forward to is the re-election of Mr. Karzai allied with Mullah Omer, while Karzai's position would be more of a symbolic, it would be the Iron Fist of Mullah Omer (or any alternative Taleb) which would bring that missing thing back to the administration.
 
Now the main problem with this scenario is the Warlords and Northern Alliance, who could fell such and alliance a great treate to their existance.
 
What I see they will be kept in Kabul, in kind of house arrest, the same situation in what Dustom right now is living in Kabul, who is feared that if he gets to North he could once again forge his malitia and form an upraising in the North.
 
So the only way to deal with these concerns is either keeping them in Kabul (Warlords) or reshuffling them like a warlord of North sent to South and South to North and East to West and vice versa.
 
After the Iron Amir Abdul Rahman Khan the only time that the central Administration had such a grip over its people and areas, it was the Taleban government, so when you are giving the looters, burgulars and warlords of 1990-95 a try, why not Taleban who had a better grip then of those.
 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote edgewaters Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Oct-2008 at 14:11
Ideological regimes have never fared well in Afghanistan, and it is hubris to think that a neoliberal republic is going to fare any differently.

IMHO, Afghans need to look to when their country was doing relatively well, in other words the era just prior to the 1969 elections, and learn lessons from that time. The heroine trade, though, is a major problem for Afghan autonomy: the superpowers (despite self-serving antidrug rhetoric) value control of addictive narcotics almost as much as oil. They can subjugate dissidents, destroy economies and collapse intransigent societies with it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pikeshot1600 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Oct-2008 at 14:32
I am moving this thread to the Modern History main forum.  However, edgewaters makes a point about narcotics and its role in international politics, and it does have validity. 
 
Drug trafficking is a security issue everywhere, and political entities sometimes use it for various reasons.  Since this can be a factor in geopolitics, I suggest we continue on with this part of the discussion in another thread in the Geo subforum.
 
However, IMO internal Afghan politics and affairs do not much affect geopolitics, so continue here in Modern History.
 
Thanks.
 
  


Edited by pikeshot1600 - 31-Oct-2008 at 14:35
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31-Oct-2008 at 18:11
Originally posted by Gharanai Gharanai wrote:

Originally posted by Afghanan Afghanan wrote:

 
Its kind of hard to see Afghanistan under a strong government, but I believe if enough stagnation occurs in the civil administration and government, the people will rise up against it.  I think America is looking for a strong leader, like a dictator to rule the country with an Iron First, like the Iron Emir - Abdur Rahman Khan who forged Afghanistan in the late 19th century.
  
 
I totaly agree with your words of an Iron Fist leader, I mean countries like Afghanistan and Pakistan could not be controlled by Democracy but only and only by dictatorship.
What I am looking forward to is the re-election of Mr. Karzai allied with Mullah Omer, while Karzai's position would be more of a symbolic, it would be the Iron Fist of Mullah Omer (or any alternative Taleb) which would bring that missing thing back to the administration.
 
Now the main problem with this scenario is the Warlords and Northern Alliance, who could fell such and alliance a great treate to their existance.
 
What I see they will be kept in Kabul, in kind of house arrest, the same situation in what Dustom right now is living in Kabul, who is feared that if he gets to North he could once again forge his malitia and form an upraising in the North.
 
So the only way to deal with these concerns is either keeping them in Kabul (Warlords) or reshuffling them like a warlord of North sent to South and South to North and East to West and vice versa.
 
After the Iron Amir Abdul Rahman Khan the only time that the central Administration had such a grip over its people and areas, it was the Taleban government, so when you are giving the looters, burgulars and warlords of 1990-95 a try, why not Taleban who had a better grip then of those.
 
 
I hope that Karzai does not come back at all.  His fingers are too sticky witih the Warlords who he fears , and the Taleban who will not settle for something less than a religous theocracy covertly and at times openly supportive of Al Qaeda.  If things continue to go down the road of lawlessness, Afghanistan will probably rise in open revolt again leaving not many options in terms of power.
 
Lets see who really holds power in Afghanistan right now:
 
Drug Barons
Warlords
The Taliban
NATO/Karzai government
 
What are the outcomes if any of them continue to rule?
 
Drug Barons - Record Drug profits - Taliban collaberators
Warlords - Lawlessness, double-dealing, and Foreign meddling
Taliban - Religious theocracy, UN Sanctions, and Foreign Meddling
NATO/Karzai - Exploitative oil/natural gas pipelines, a weak government, continuous rebellion
 
Maybe I am being very cynical here about the situation but this is where I believe the road leads for all of those in power right now.  For the past 7 years I've put my hope on this fledgling democracy only to see it spiral out of control into something completely ridiculous and laughable.  Foreign investors are leaving, whatever middle class exists is being squeezed out by Bandits and highway robbers, the rich are getting very rich, and the poor are becoming impoverished. 
 
Even if NATO double deals with the Taliban and lets them run for election in the government, NATO will still be calling the shots there for decades and Afghanistan will not have any independence and can look forward to NATO military bases to keep China, Russia, and Iran in check.  I can see more of the same corruption, and I can see stagnation in civil administration and I think the next generation of Afghans will want major change.  I hope this is not the case and NATO can turn the tide on the Taliban, drug barons, and bandits, but so long as the root of government is corrupt, funding and troop support to Afghanistan remains minimal, I can't see anything positive in Afghanistan's future.
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gharanai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Nov-2008 at 21:55
Will dear Afghanan,
I guess sitting outside the boiling water and watching it out is way easier than sitting inside it and fell the burn outs.
What I mean you can't imagine who lives of people had and have changed in last 10-12 years (Talib-Karzai Reign).
I know many people have suffered but to be honest the number of gainers is way higher than the losers.
Just take the example of education, at least now we have an infrastruction for education which is progressing at a very fast rate, same goes with your economy I know many people will rise their eyebrows while speaking regarding Afghan economy rising, but the fact could not be changed.
During the most recent peaceful days in Afghanistan's history which was the Zahir Shah reign, Afghanistan was not even able to produce a single neddle and now.....
I know that time have changed from then but still many other leaders came and went away without setting up a single basic infrastructure for any field whether it's economic or education.
 
Therefore, I guess the best option right now for next Afghan president is still Mr. Karzai while the second best option would be Mr. Gul Agha Sherzai whom world claim of being a warlord and a drug baron, but then do you have anyone else.
 
I mean sitting far away from garbage and sticking your fingers to your noise is way easier than getting in the place and cleaning the mass.
Let's be practical, how many Afghans living abroad would risk their lives to come back to Afghanistan so that they could finish the reign of these world lords and puppets (as many call) and not be himself a puppet ??????????
 
No one dear not a single one, oh sorry yes they will come but not to establish the country but to establish their bank accounts and homes back in west.
 
So dear we are in a situation where you have a wreckaged plan without any spare part in the stock and still willing to fly the skies, which does look impossible but that's something that Afghans have been doing since last decades.
Wink


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Dec-2008 at 17:14
Originally posted by Gharanai Gharanai wrote:

Will dear Afghanan,
I guess sitting outside the boiling water and watching it out is way easier than sitting inside it and fell the burn outs.
What I mean you can't imagine who lives of people had and have changed in last 10-12 years (Talib-Karzai Reign).
I know many people have suffered but to be honest the number of gainers is way higher than the losers.
Just take the example of education, at least now we have an infrastruction for education which is progressing at a very fast rate, same goes with your economy I know many people will rise their eyebrows while speaking regarding Afghan economy rising, but the fact could not be changed.
During the most recent peaceful days in Afghanistan's history which was the Zahir Shah reign, Afghanistan was not even able to produce a single neddle and now.....
I know that time have changed from then but still many other leaders came and went away without setting up a single basic infrastructure for any field whether it's economic or education.
 
Therefore, I guess the best option right now for next Afghan president is still Mr. Karzai while the second best option would be Mr. Gul Agha Sherzai whom world claim of being a warlord and a drug baron, but then do you have anyone else.
 
I mean sitting far away from garbage and sticking your fingers to your noise is way easier than getting in the place and cleaning the mass.
Let's be practical, how many Afghans living abroad would risk their lives to come back to Afghanistan so that they could finish the reign of these world lords and puppets (as many call) and not be himself a puppet ??????????
 
No one dear not a single one, oh sorry yes they will come but not to establish the country but to establish their bank accounts and homes back in west.
 
So dear we are in a situation where you have a wreckaged plan without any spare part in the stock and still willing to fly the skies, which does look impossible but that's something that Afghans have been doing since last decades.
Wink
 
I think the leader after Karzai is not going to take the country in a really different direction, whoever it may be.  Unless ofcourse it is a homegrown leader.  I think if the Military becomes strong enough and reaches 140,000 status as they wish it would, the military might have enough power  and support to secure the country and then we can have the chance for more people to step up to the plate within Afghanistan to lead the country to a new era.
 
The biggest problem right now is security.  It hampers commerce, development, aid, and and the government from doing their job.  After that it should be shutting down Taliban's money making infrastructure, the poppy fields and giving farmers a better alternative.  Apparently Pomegranate, Francensence yield more money per hectare than poppy, but farmers are lacking the government aid to convert their fields and properly water them.  If they don't have enough water, they will go back to poppy which can withstand droughts.
 
If security is brought, they should focus on the south for development aid because the South has traditionally been Afghanistan's breadbasket. This is where most of the wheat was grown, grain, alfalfa, and many fruits and vegetables.  Primarily in the region of Lashkargah and the Argandab river valley.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MarcoPolo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Dec-2008 at 22:46
This thread poses a very important question-> Where is Afghanistan headed?
*warning :long post!*(I apologize in advance Sleepy)
 
The ''story'' of whats happening in Afghanistan is one that needs to be assessed, understood and be told.  We need to see what went wrong, what needs to be done to remedy the situation.  What are the factors involved and who is involved.  While such a discussion is undoubtably an extensive one, we can try to analyze it here in our own capacity and pool our respective views on the issue.  I have travelled to that country on numerous occasions, written on it and seen it at different times(poltically) so I can share my personal experiences in this matter as well.
 
So who's running Afghanistan and who are the major players?  One one hand we see an American force backed up with international support(Nato; its first mission abroad) that is propping up a government seen by most Afghans, regional neighboors and in general as a failure, it is often seen as a puppet government (''President'' Hamid Karzai) who is often known more aply as the Mayor of Kabul as that appears to be the extent of his control (though even this can be disputed as many areas of Kabul are ''No go areas''.  He has antagonized relations with Afghanistan's regional neighboors(particularly, Afghanistan's vital relations with Pakistan; irked Iran, and rattled the Central Asian republics looking for an outlet from their landlocked status), his reign has seen an unprecedented spike in corruption and nepotism, and his track record has consistently shown that he is merely the Afghan front-man (or puppet for lack of a better word) of the International backed forces in the country. 
 
Then we have the powerful Drug barons, an old and established segment of the country, for whom business is booming better than ever under the American/ISAF occupation and Karzai regime compared to just 7 years ago.  Recent reports clearly state that the Drug/Opium trade has mushroomed since the international community arrived to Afghanistan and that drug busts and smuggling from Afghanistan into the surrounding ''transit'' & export countries of Iran, Pakistan and Uzbekistan (note: China has sealed its border with Wakhan) have increased  nearly ten-folds are also indicative of the failure and possibly, the complicity of the current regime in this trade.  The matter is made even more poignant by recent reports that Hamid Karzai's own brother is reputed to be one of the largest drug barons in the country and uses his brothers political influence and official position to move his drugs! 
 
 Then there are the traditional warlords who hold sway in different parts of the country, amongst its various valleys, corridors, ethnic/cultural regions and/or who survived the decades of war due to their own ingenuity, skill and possibly luck.  Some have been charged with heinous crimes, run their own fiefdoms, subjugate the people who live under their shadow; still other warlords, and there quite a few, have established commendable reputations(despite the negative connotation the word ''warlord'' has) and are often seen as Afghan ''Robin Hoods'', who through the tough times, faught for and liberated local people(s) in their respective regions, maintained law and order, defended the poor and oppressed, and did commendable charity work not to mention keep the criminal mafia and chaos/disorder of the rest of the country to a minimum in the regions they inhabited. 
 
Top this off with various other groups, the now world famous Taliban, led by its reclusive and still very much alive Mullah Omar, a group originally funded, supported and assisted by the American CIA, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and gained much local support across the border in Pakistan particularly amongst the ethnic Pashtuns(Pakistan's 2nd largest ethnic group numbering over 30 million) and prominent Pashtuns within the Pakistani government and Army. 
 
Taliban were also,  one of the few groups not corrupted and infiltrated by india's RAW intelligence agency or Communist/Soviet later Russian connections.  Furthermore, the bulk of the Taliban where also Pashtun which further gained them additional special attention.  The Taliban, initially welcomed in Kabul and in Afghanistan in general by most Afghans irrespective of ethnic/linguistic or political background bar a few, started off on a good footing, bringing civility, calm and order to the chaos that was rampant in those days after the then Soviet Union withdrew(1989) and subsequent squabbling by various militias, warlords, organized crime mafia's, foreign agents(Iranian, indian, russian, American, Pakistani,Israeli etc...) when there was a  rapid increase in drug(opium) production and addiction, Crime/robbery, horrible incidences of attrocities(rape, murder, kidnappings and torture) often at the hands of warlords and notably by members of the Northern Alliance, who were being bank-rolled by the indian's for their own personal political agenda of using Afghan soil in operations against Pakistan.  
 
Ironically, many members of the Northern Alliance were responsible for the rape, molestation and kidnapping of woman and the killing of innocent locals and they now sit in extreme positions of power under the current government(how frightening that must be); what was even an more disturbing pattern was that many of the Tajik and other Persian speaking communities living in places like Kabul were often targeted by their ethnic kinsmen members within the Northern Alliance; it was then that many Tajik refugees fled to neighbooring Pakistan and further west to Iran with tales of horror(i was in Peshawer at the time). 
 
Going back to the Taliban, what started out as a genuine movement with mass appeal and good orderly government suddenly began to crumble.  The United States cut off support(financial, advisory and technical; rumors of a political fallout between the Taliban and the US suggest some disagreements over various issues); the US subsequently pressured the Saudi, and later the governments of Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates to shut down the support network to the Taliban and an appreciable change was seen within this movement. 
 
The movement gradually came under the sway of influential and hardcore(Wahabi) groups/individuals of Arab extraction who had taken over, many of whom where causing problems in their own respective countries(eg. Saudi Arabia, UAE, Egypt etc...) The Taliban, now nearly bankrupt and isolated initially welcomed the support these orthodox Arabs offered but, the support came with considerable change in the outlook of the movement.   There subsequent influence and ''hijacking'' of the Taliban turned this Afghan group into a more orthodox, hardline group with little room for negotiations that quickly antagonized the multicultural dimensions,social frabric and circumventing of traditional negotiating methods of Afghan society.  They started passing out bizarre harsh laws, holding sensationalized spectacles to the dismay of the international community, antagonized Afghanistans neighboors(Iran, Pakistan, China and the Central Asian republics),  stern interpretation of religion and thoecratic law, became intolerant to Afghanistan's multiculturalism and issuing bellicose statements which isolated them further.  There rule ended 7 years ago with the American/ISAF forces pushing them out of Kabul and the current scenerio that we are all quite aware of. 
 
The Northern Alliance, as previously touched on, initially represented an eclactic mix of groups/warlords united out of necessity to form a common front and antagonise the Taliban, are often seen by many(including many womens groups) as being worse than the worst of criminals, who, despite their checkered past and blatant attrocities, are currently in power with the foreign backed government!  There group was given a semblance of decency with Ahmed Shah Masood as defense minister.   There(Northern Alliance) presence has further undermined the legitamicy of the current political set-up as many of them have yet to be charged with heinous war crimes.  The Northern Alliance, and many in its cadre were often on the pay-roll of india, where many of their members trained and lived for a period of time. 
 
Militant groups(there are many besides the notorious Al-Qaeda) are another noteworthy group of interest in the country; they are remnants of the international mujahideen's from abroad from a diverse plethora of countries but predominantly Arab in origin and tight nit as well as battle hardened.  They have in a sense, ''lost'' there ways in recent years, are antagonizing relations between both countries by using the border regions in their brazen attacks.  They add another variable to the equation.
 
There are still many other groups and interests within the country(Hazara, Minority ethnic groups and faiths etc...)
 
* an additional point that needs to be factored in this, are the transitional influences vis-a-vis historical/cultural/linguistic/ethnic and political spheres Afghanistan shares with surrounding countries such as Iran in the west particularly with Herat, the Central Asian republics of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan with their respective ethnic-kinsmen in Afghanistan's north, and Pakistan in east with the Pashtun tribes along east, Baloch in the south and Dardic/Nuristani/Wakhani tribes of the north east.
 
The interesting thing to note is that during the years of the Soviet Occupation, almost all of these groups/individuals(Islamists, Ahmed Shah Masood, Rabbani, Hekmetyar, Hazara, Arabs etc...)  used to work together (minus a few who were aligned with the Soviets or would constantly change sides like Dostum) and would regularly meet and discuss strategies in Peshawer (Pakistan) in how to jointly take down the Soviet occupiers.  If only they had insight and could have seen what their squabbling would have resulted in.
 
So the question is now asked, where is Afghanistan headed, judging by the current scenerio, the situation looks very bleak.  Afghanistan's naturally and historically multi-ethnic divisions have been further divided and excacerbated, it has been polarized into groups that are:
A) friendly/pacified/bought off by the USA/foreign backed government of Karzai or simply just fed up with war and suffering who are desperate for any kind of peace.
B) are in open revolt to the foreign forces whom they see as occupiers(these include the Taliban but also many other groups that are not-Taliban as well despite being improperly labelled as such but independent Afghan tribes dotted throughout the country
C) groups that are indifferent and couldnt care less and or are waiting and watching the political development.
 
 Afghanistan still has considerable security lapses, especially along its national highways which should be of the utmost importance to facilitate trade and commerce; this is especially important in uplifting the life's of the local people(s).  The current Afghan government is not acceptable to the people of Afghanistan and has lost legitamacy and as such a more representative government needs to be established taking into account Afghanistan's diverse ethnic/cultural ethnic groups and the filtering out of obvious criminals and war crime suspects if they are to be considered legitamite and acceptable to the majority. 
 
Also, better relations and understanding between Afghanistan and its neighboors, notably Pakistan are of crucial significance as the fate of one country lies directly with the fate of the other; and issues addressing the border region need to be addressed for better control of movement (possibly joint Afghan-Pakistani patrols) over the long and porous Durand border need to be addressed to facilatate trade, commerce and people to people contact between the two; better control of the border will further prevent its use by militants who dont recognize either Afghanistan or Pakistan and are undermining vital relations between them.  I think relations(Political, economic, infrastructure etc...) between Afghanistan and Pakistan are often under-appreciated when factoring out the future of the region; relations between both countries need to be sound, cordial and benevolent, as it is in the interests of the peoples from both countries and their subsequent desire for a prosperous future.  Furthermore, the establishment of an unusually large number of indian consulates in the country particularly along the Pakistani border will do little to shake off Pakistan's fear of Afghanistan being used as a staging ground for subversive activity between the two nuclear South Asian rivals is another issue that needs to be addressed.  A climate of trust, support and development needs to be established. 
 
Afghanistan is in a fragile situation, it needs to be nurtured, developed, better infrastructure needs to be build, jobs need to be created, poverty and social injustices need to be addressed, industries need to be established, rehabilitation programs also need to be initiated to reverse the trend of 30+ years of war and the impact it has had on Afghans.  Irrigation projects need to be rebuilt so that the agriculture economy is put back on tract(as Afghanan stated, particularly in the breadbasket regions of Lashkargah and Argandab valleys, as well as along other valleys-panjshir- in regions).  Afghanistan's natural resources need to be developed and its economy strengthened to stear it on a positive trajectory. 
 
The country is dire need of sustained development, a 15-20 year plan along the lines of the ''Marshall Plan'' to reverse the decay of the years spent in war, but the problem with this is that, developmental programs will not work until a sizeable majority of the people will accept the government as being legitamate and representative of themselves as well as the disarmament of independent militias.  Furthermore, a phased withdrawal and date needs to be set for the subsequent withdrawal of international forces by fixing an exact date on the departure of American/International troops(rather than the current ill defined presence of the international/American forces, which will eventually see them being labelled as occupiers; and if history is any lesson, once this notion becomes widespread, we might just see a reversion to the war and destruction all too common in that country). 
 
Afghanistan's own institutions need to developed, particularly its Army and internal security forces(i.e. Police) so that it can establish the writ of law over its own people without the presence of foreign troops who undermine them in the eyes of the Afghan people.
 
There is so much to do, but the first step seems to be the establishment of a legitamate government that is accepted by the people with the removal obvious war criminals who still instill fear, the rehabilitation of the Afghan police force and army so that they can handle their own affairs, a fixed date for the departure of international/American troops would legitamize their presence and not make them be seen as occupiers, and improvement in relations with Pakistan and greater people to people contact in both countries.  These initial steps are vital to the future of the country in order to effect all of the other aforementioned developmental and rehabilitation programs.  I sincerely hope that peace and prosperity is achieved in Afghanistan.
 
P.S.  wow I just realized how long that was, hope I didnt bore you guys/galsEmbarrassed


Edited by MarcoPolo - 22-Dec-2008 at 20:36
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Red4tribe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-Dec-2008 at 14:53
One can only hope with more troops to arrive in Afghanistan in the next few months that the violence will decrease.
Had this day been wanting, the world had never seen the last stage of perfection to which human nature is capable of attaining.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Conservative Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Dec-2008 at 17:48
I rarely come across someone from Afghanistan in person but on the net i've interacted with many. All i can say is that the more i interact with Afghans online the more i am convinced that Afghanistan has no unity and be dissolved as a state. But i dont believe in erroneous and arbitrary redrawing of boundaries by Western powers will serve any purpose or benefit for the people of Afghanistan. But i do think that if no credible and functioning government and administrative system can be implemented then the peoples of that country, at least the non-Pashtuns, be given the 'right to self-determination' to decide what their political future be and where it should lie.
 
Im in agreement with the Iranian government in their opposition to any kind of negotiations or settlement with the Taliban that could see them brought back into power. Perhaps that will largely end the insurgency and bring some peace to the south and east, but i see no reason why the Tajiks, Hazaras and other communities that opposed the Taliban and gave their lives to fight against them should be sidelined and ignored and be forced into a political set-up by an American initiative that will accommodate the Taliban in a new Afghan government. If such a scenario does seriously begin to arise as a possibility next year then id support any push for self-determination amongst the non-Pashtuns and that is something i hope the Iranian government would back too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gharanai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25-Dec-2008 at 22:19
Originally posted by Conservative Conservative wrote:

I rarely come across someone from Afghanistan in person but on the net i've interacted with many. All i can say is that the more i interact with Afghans online the more i am convinced that Afghanistan has no unity and be dissolved as a state. But i dont believe in erroneous and arbitrary redrawing of boundaries by Western powers will serve any purpose or benefit for the people of Afghanistan. But i do think that if no credible and functioning government and administrative system can be implemented then the peoples of that country, at least the non-Pashtuns, be given the 'right to self-determination' to decide what their political future be and where it should lie.
 
Im in agreement with the Iranian government in their opposition to any kind of negotiations or settlement with the Taliban that could see them brought back into power. Perhaps that will largely end the insurgency and bring some peace to the south and east, but i see no reason why the Tajiks, Hazaras and other communities that opposed the Taliban and gave their lives to fight against them should be sidelined and ignored and be forced into a political set-up by an American initiative that will accommodate the Taliban in a new Afghan government. If such a scenario does seriously begin to arise as a possibility next year then id support any push for self-determination amongst the non-Pashtuns and that is something i hope the Iranian government would back too.
 
Dear Conservative (or what ever your name is behind that label),
First of all I would like to let you know that with all the interference of IRAN in Afghan affairs, Al Hamdulellah still majority of AFGHANS (Tajik, Hazara, Pashtun, Baloch, Uzbek and rest), along with all their crisis and problems, along with the occupation of foriegn troops and along with the poor quality of life are still happy to live side by side to each other and anyone who tries to break our unity and try to use us against each other will end up in the breaking of their own countries (1919-British Empire, 1989 Soviet Union).
 
And by the way what would you like to say about the Balochs, Kurds and Aazaris of Iran whom never ever wanted to live under the Iranian flag?????
 
Quote ...then id support any push for self-determination amongst the non-Pashtuns and that is something i hope the Iranian government would back too.
 
Don't you think that you should first consider your own country's maters first then start worrying about your nieghbors? Big smile
 
And by the way in case you decided to give them their rights then please GIVE US BALOCHESTAN as we have had a very cordial and sencere relation with them through out our history and beside that all we will find a way to open waters. Wink


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Conservative Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Dec-2008 at 00:09
Originally posted by Gharanai Gharanai wrote:

Dear Conservative (or what ever your name is behind that label),
First of all I would like to let you know that with all the interference of IRAN in Afghan affairs, Al Hamdulellah still majority of AFGHANS (Tajik, Hazara, Pashtun, Baloch, Uzbek and rest), along with all their crisis and problems, along with the occupation of foriegn troops and along with the poor quality of life are still happy to live side by side to each other and anyone who tries to break our unity and try to use us against each other will end up in the breaking of their own countries (1919-British Empire, 1989 Soviet Union).
 
And by the way what would you like to say about the Balochs, Kurds and Aazaris of Iran whom never ever wanted to live under the Iranian flag?????
 
I have been convinced by interacting with Tajiks and from reading the press that they will not accept any settlement with the Taliban that would see Taliban brought back into power. I have nothing to say about the few Tajiks i've spoken with that would ideally like to see Afghanistan disintegrated, that is their cause not mine, but i do sympathize with them over not wanting to live under a criminal regime like the Taliban. If such a move were made in that direction, then sure, i have no problem with any potential "Iranian interference" on their behalf in what you dub "Afghan affairs". In fact, it wouldn't be 'Afghan affairs' as such since whether you like it or not Iran has and will continue to have vested interests in Afghanistan when it comes to security issues (drugs, terrorism, smuggling, immigration etc) and the safety of the Persian-speaking and Shi'a communities there. There will be those within the Iranian establishments that will also no doubt feel some sentimental bonds towards former Iranian cities like Herat, which is closer to Iranian Khorasan than it is to some Afghan Qandahar; and towards the Tajiks who share a common language and culture with most Iranians. Something they do not share with Pashtuns.
 
About Iran, the type of disunity and inter-ethnic violence and criminality that exists in Afghanistan has no parallel in Iran. Iran is not in a state of conflict or on the verge of collapse or civil-war. There is no inter-ethnic violence among civilians in Iran like there is and has been for decades in Afghanistan. So there is no substance to any allegations that Kurds or Azaris or Baluchis or whoever else do not want to 'live under the Iranian flag'. They are all Iranian.
 
Quote Don't you think that you should first consider your own country's maters first then start worrying about your nieghbors? Big smile
 
Afghanistan's instability has a direct impact on Iran's security. This has come in several ways; like millions of Afghan refugees and illegal immigrants that have a burden on Iranian society, criminality from Afghanistan overflowing into Iran - in particular narcotics. Also the mushrooming of terrorism and extremist ideologies from the chaos in Afghanistan is a concern for Iran no doubt. And like i mentioned before, Iran has a special interest towards the safety of the Shi'a and Persian-speaking communities.
 
Quote And by the way in case you decided to give them their rights then please GIVE US BALOCHESTAN as we have had a very cordial and sencere relation with them through out our history and beside that all we will find a way to open waters. Wink
 
Um, Sistan-Baluchestan has always been apart of Iran. Either under Iranian suzerainty or under Iranian sovereignty. The same can be said about much of what is now Afghanistan. But im not a policy-maker for Iran and have no interest in Iran re-claiming Iranian cities occupied by the Afghans like Herat. I am sure also that the regime has no such territorial ambitions. But what the regime does make clear is that they are opposed to the Taliban, and that Iran has interests in Afghanistan's stability and domestic affairs which no amount of protesting from you is going to change. And i am inclined to actually agree with the regime on this and with that said, i fully sympathize with the Tajiks and Hazara peoples and if no workable solution to Afghanistan's stability, unity and normalization as a functioning state can be found, then sure, id support any bid by the non-Pashtuns for self-determination. It would be unjust for Iran to abandon these people to American ploys at forcing them into a settlement with so-called 'good Taliban' after everything they had fought for during the 1990s.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Dec-2008 at 07:54
Hello Conserevative
 
Obviously you haven't been into Afghanistan and the only news source is Iranian propaganda.
 
Almost 90% of Tajiks are sunni in Afghanistan and many Tajiks actually support the Taliban and some of the strongest Taliban bases currently are in Tajik Territory. The Tajiks that I know, they operate a restaurant that I go to frequently, say that and they are not fans of either the current government not Ahmad Shah Masud. They were not happy with the Taliban either but here is the thing, they support them because they are not puppet, not to Iran and not to the US. They were at least Afghans.
 
Same thing lesser extent applies to Hazara. They too don't love the Taliban but they hate Americans and foreigners even more. Currently most of Bamyan is believe it or not under Taliban control and shia locals support them. This is unusual considering how far from their base Bamyan is located. 
 
It is Iran/India that doesn't want any stability to be achieved in Afghanistan not Taliban or other power to unify Afghanistan. It was Iran that encouraged and supported Hikmatyar to turn over the 92 deal and occupy Kabul and distroy it when it became apparent that the deal worked. I think Marco's post is a good way to start.
 
Finally, define the meaning of "Iranian" control over Afghanistan and Baluchistan? Paying tribute is not control, having nominal authority is not control either. Better still define Iran and what does that mean? Is it what the Qajars ruled which excludes much of Khuzestan and parts of Azerbaijan and nearly all of Sistan? Or is it what the Safavids ruled which exludes even Khurasan? The last time a dynasty in what is now called Iran ruled over Herat was back during the 11th century, since then Afghan dynsaties have been ruling the city and they pretty much consider themselves Afghans not Iranian.
 
Al-Jassas
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suren Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Dec-2008 at 08:54
Al jasi read Harat history then you may dont repeat this geberish!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Suren Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Dec-2008 at 08:57
Well I think Afghanistan need a powerful leader better be a dictator to weld the country again; otherwise it doesn't work.

Iran has its own problems and has no interest in taking territories from Afghanistan. Treat your people well and you may have a unified country. I have seen many discussion and fights between afghanis on the net, but have not seen any in person. The only concern that I have in Afghanistan is the process of destroying the Persian(dari) language which may cause problem for the people and afghan unitiy. Afghan government better have a good approach toward this. I wish you guys a better future and government (ofcourse not Talibans).Wink


Edited by Suren - 26-Dec-2008 at 09:10
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Gharanai Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Dec-2008 at 13:17
Originally posted by Conservative Conservative wrote:

 
I have been convinced by interacting with Tajiks and from reading the press that they will not accept any settlement with the Taliban that would see Taliban brought back into power. I have nothing to say about the few Tajiks i've spoken with that would ideally like to see Afghanistan disintegrated, that is their cause not mine, but i do sympathize with them over not wanting to live under a criminal regime like the Taliban. If such a move were made in that direction, then sure, i have no problem with any potential "Iranian interference" on their behalf in what you dub "Afghan affairs". In fact, it wouldn't be 'Afghan affairs' as such since whether you like it or not Iran has and will continue to have vested interests in Afghanistan when it comes to security issues (drugs, terrorism, smuggling, immigration etc) and the safety of the Persian-speaking and Shi'a communities there. There will be those within the Iranian establishments that will also no doubt feel some sentimental bonds towards former Iranian cities like Herat, which is closer to Iranian Khorasan than it is to some Afghan Qandahar; and towards the Tajiks who share a common language and culture with most Iranians. Something they do not share with Pashtuns.
 
 
Dear Cons.
I don't know how many Tajiks have you interacted with, 10s, 100s or 1000s ? But to enlight your knowledge there are millions of Tajiks living in Afghanistan so it does not matter what at most 1000s think what matters is what the majority thinks.
 
As far as you are worried for the Tajiks', Uzbeks' and Hazaras' future under Taleban extreamism then you should be more concerned about the 70.5 million poor Iranians who have been living under Extreamist rule since 1979 (the so called Islamic Revolution), so don't petty for Afghan Tajiks but for your own people who are living under that extreamism for almost 30 years.
 
And as far as you are worried about the effects of terrorism on Iran, then I would like to tell you that Iran was the mother of current terrorism in the reign.
It was the Islamic Revolution of Iran which changed and influenced the mentality of Afghans and it was Iran who supported Hekmatyar and Ahmad Shah Masood during the 80s and 90s, and it was Hekmatyar and Ahmad Shah Masood who broke the country into pieces and distroyed the basic infrastructure of Afghanistan.
 
And it has always been Iran, whether it's in Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq or Phallistine, who divide the muslims and use them to fight against each other in the names of Sunni and Shai.
 
So please don't lecture us regarding the terrorism, and as far as the norcotics are concerned I would simple tell you in a single line that; "When there is a demand, there is production!".
So don't blame Afghanistan and instead try to stop your youth generation from using it.
 
Oh and not to forget, as far as the Afghan Refugees are concerned, I would simply enlight you that it's the UN who is paying Iranian Government for each single refugee in Iran as well as Pakistan and other countries.
And Iran intead of giving that money to the needy people who by the mercy of Iran has lost their own homes and relatives and are now living in the camps, use that money to increase it war arseanl.
 
 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Conservative Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26-Dec-2008 at 13:26
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Hello Conserevative
 
Obviously you haven't been into Afghanistan and the only news source is Iranian propaganda.
 
Almost 90% of Tajiks are sunni in Afghanistan and many Tajiks actually support the Taliban and some of the strongest Taliban bases currently are in Tajik Territory. The Tajiks that I know, they operate a restaurant that I go to frequently, say that and they are not fans of either the current government not Ahmad Shah Masud. They were not happy with the Taliban either but here is the thing, they support them because they are not puppet, not to Iran and not to the US. They were at least Afghans.
 
Same thing lesser extent applies to Hazara. They too don't love the Taliban but they hate Americans and foreigners even more. Currently most of Bamyan is believe it or not under Taliban control and shia locals support them. This is unusual considering how far from their base Bamyan is located. 
 
It is Iran/India that doesn't want any stability to be achieved in Afghanistan not Taliban or other power to unify Afghanistan. It was Iran that encouraged and supported Hikmatyar to turn over the 92 deal and occupy Kabul and distroy it when it became apparent that the deal worked. I think Marco's post is a good way to start.
 
Finally, define the meaning of "Iranian" control over Afghanistan and Baluchistan? Paying tribute is not control, having nominal authority is not control either. Better still define Iran and what does that mean? Is it what the Qajars ruled which excludes much of Khuzestan and parts of Azerbaijan and nearly all of Sistan? Or is it what the Safavids ruled which exludes even Khurasan? The last time a dynasty in what is now called Iran ruled over Herat was back during the 11th century, since then Afghan dynsaties have been ruling the city and they pretty much consider themselves Afghans not Iranian.
 
Al-Jassas
 
 
 
Al-Jassas i am highly bemused by this post of yours. I am not sure whether you were serious or not when you made it. It reads like some kind of April fools joke. There are far too many errors and just plain fallacies in your response for me to engage you in this debate. If there is anyone here under the influence of 'propaganda' it is you quite clearly. Either that or you just dont know what you're talking about, but chose to talk anyway.
 
I suggest you take some 'quality time' away to read in-depth on Iranian history and contemporary Iranian and Afghan affairs. Once you've done that then i will be able to debate and disagree with you.
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