Building a New Afghanistan

Building a New Afghanistan

ROBERT I. ROTBERG Editor
Copyright Date: 2007
Pages: 242
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7864/j.ctt6wpf3d
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Building a New Afghanistan
    Book Description:

    In the wake of the Taliban nightmare, Afghanistan must tackle serious problems before it can emerge as a confident, independent nation. Security in this battered state continues to deteriorate; suicide bombings, convoy ambushes, and insurgent attacks are all too common. Effective state building will depend upon eliminating the national security crisis and enhancing the rule of law. This book offers a blueprint for moving the embattled nation toward greater democracy and prosperity. Robert Rotberg and his colleagues argue that the future success of state building in Afghanistan depends on lessening its dependence on opium and enhancing its economic status. Many of Afghanistan's security problems are related to poppy growing, opium and heroin production, and drug trafficking. Building a New Afghanistan suggests controversial new alternatives to immediate eradication, which is foolish and counter-productive. These options include monetary incentives for growing wheat, a viable local crop. Greater wheat production would feed hungry Afghans while reducing narco-trafficking and the terror that comes with it. Integrating this land-locked country into the Central Asia or greater Eurasia economy would open up trading partnerships with its northern and western neighbors as well as with Pakistan, India, and possibly China. Developing a sense of common purpose among citizens would benefit the economy and could help to unite the nation. Perhaps most important, bolstering better governance in Afghanistan is necessary in order to eliminate chaos and corruption and enact nationwide reforms. Fresh and insightful, Building a New Afghanistan shows what the country's leadership and the international community should do to resolve dangerous issues and bolster a still fragile state. Contributors include Cindy Fazey (University of Liverpool), Ali Jalali (former minister of the interior, Afghanistan, and National Defense University), Hekmat Karzai (Centre for Conflict and Peace Studies, Afghanistan, and Institute of Defense and Strategic Studies, Singapore), Alistair J. McKechnie (World Bank Country Director for Afghanistan), Paula Newburg (Skidmore College), and S. Frederick Starr (Central Asia-Caucasus Institute and School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University).

    eISBN: 978-0-8157-7565-2
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface
    (pp. vii-xi)
    Robert I. Rotberg
  4. Map of Afghanistan
    (pp. xii-xii)
  5. 1 Renewing the Afghan State
    (pp. 1-21)
    Robert I. Rotberg

    State building anywhere in the war-torn developing world is hard and exacting. Land-locked Afghanistan represents an extreme level of difficulty, not least because of the destruction of national political institutions during the Russian occupation and the Taliban hegemony. Today’s Afghanistan is only very slowly learning how to build upon the wreckage of those years—how to create a government that succeeds for all Afghans. Establishing a nation in the full sense will continue to be a work in progress for many years. For now, it will be enough to establish a framework for good governance and for the administration of...

  6. 2 The Legacy of War and the Challenge of Peace Building
    (pp. 22-55)
    Ali A. Jalali

    Afghanistan reappeared on the world center stage following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States. The suicide attackers who crashed hijacked passenger planes into the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., were linked to Osama bin Laden’s worldwide terrorist network, al Qaeda, centered in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. However, none of those who committed the dreadful crime was an Afghan national nor was the violence inspired by Afghan politics. The tragic event that cost thousands of innocent lives and enormous material damage marked a new turn in the international war on terrorism and...

  7. 3 Strengthening Security in Contemporary Afghanistan: Coping with the Taliban
    (pp. 56-81)
    Hekmat Karzai

    Immediately after the horrific acts of September 11, the United States warned the Taliban, the ruling authority in Afghanistan, to hand over Osama bin Laden or suffer the consequences. The Taliban’s response was very clear: Osama is a Muslim who has fought in the jihad against the Russians and to surrender him would violate our code of hospitality. Hence, on October 7, 2001, the United States and the Coalition forces started their offensive against the Taliban and their guests. Their aim was twofold—to destroy bin Laden’s training camps and facilities and also to target the Taliban, with the presumed...

  8. 4 Neither Stable nor Stationary: The Politics of Transition and Recovery
    (pp. 82-97)
    Paula R. Newberg

    Like many small, insecure states, Afghanistan’s political development is subject to the assumed prerogatives of its neighbors, allies, patrons, and enemies. But Afghanistan occupies more than simply another unstable space among countries living in volatile neighborhoods. Its path from civil instability to regional war and back again reflects the deeply seated contradictions between the external imperatives that fuel the war against terrorism and the country’s efforts to build a political system based on internationally accepted standards of rights and democracy. Afghanistan’s recovery not only reflects this contradiction but also duplicates it in many ways and challenges the diagnosis on which...

  9. 5 Rebuilding a Robust Afghan Economy
    (pp. 98-133)
    Alastair J. McKechnie

    The recovery of the Afghan economy has made remarkable progress since the collapse of the Taliban government in November 2001. From 2001–2002 until the end of the Afghan fiscal year 2004–2005, legal real GDP is estimated to have grown by 60 percent and has now recovered to at least the highest level reached before the wars (see figure 5-1).¹ However, figure 5-1 also shows the huge loss in potential income from the wars if the Afghan economy had grown at the same rate as other low-income countries. For example, in the period from 2004 to 2005, the loss...

  10. 6 Revitalizing Afghanistan’s Economy: The Government’s Plan
    (pp. 134-154)
    Hedayat Amin Arsala

    Some scholars argue that “geography is destiny.” Afghanistan’s history has been a witness to the importance of geography, with a location that has for centuries been a strategically vital crossroads for trade and politics, part of the land bridge connecting Asia and Europe known as the Silk Road. While geography may be less important in today’s world than it once was, there is little doubt that Afghanistan’s location will continue to have a significant influence on the country’s future political and economic prospects. Afghanistan still occupies a vitally important location with links to Central and South Asia as well as...

  11. 7 Regional Development in Greater Central Asia: The Afghan Pivot
    (pp. 155-177)
    S. Frederick Starr

    What are the likely benefits of greater regional cooperation in the region of which Afghanistan is the heart, and what are the prospects that such cooperation might actually be achieved? For more than a generation, the very question would have seemed quixotic and utopian. After all, during the decades of Afghanistan’s crisis both major powers and neighboring states viewed that suffering land mainly as a source of problems to be avoided at all cost. Madeleine Albright’s oftquoted quip that the best approach to Afghanistan was to “build a fence around the country and forget about it” aptly, if cynically, reflected...

  12. 8 Responding to the Opium Dilemma
    (pp. 178-204)
    Cindy Fazey

    “The challenge of tackling the opium economy is central to the challenge of building a modern Afghan state and economy.”¹ The estimate of opium production in Afghanistan for 2005 was 4,100 metric tons, down 2 percent from 2004.² The actual hectares under cultivation (104,000) apparently dropped by 21 percent from 2004, which was itself a record high. A 2006 assessment suggests that there will again be an increase in cultivation but that the amount produced will depend on eradication campaigns.³ (These figures should be compared to 350 metric tons of opium and 29,000 hectares under cultivation in 1986.)

    Some provinces...

  13. 9 The Place of the Province in Afghanistan’s Subnational Governance
    (pp. 205-226)
    Sarah Lister and Hamish Nixon

    At the beginning of 2006, the government of Afghanistan presented its Interim Afghanistan National Development Strategy (ANDS) and agreed with international donors to the terms of the Afghanistan Compact. These two guiding documents of the “post-Bonn” period outline the mutual commitments of the government and the international community for achieving concrete advances in three broad areas: security; governance, human rights, and the rule of law; and economic and social development. They come on the heels of the 2005 election of an Afghan parliament and provincial councils, a period of increasing attention on governance at the provincial level, as well as...

  14. Contributors
    (pp. 227-230)
  15. Index
    (pp. 231-242)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 243-243)