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Rescuing Afghanistan

William Maley (Author)
Synopsis Compared to post-invasion Iraq, Afghanistan seems a success story; but first impressions can be misleading. The country remains on a knife-edge, and the loss of momentum in its transition from the Taliban regime puts Afghanistan at grave risk of relapsing into dangerous insecurity. Although many afghans have contributed courageously to rescuing their country, and some key benchmarks have been achieved, Afghanistan continues to face severe difficulties. Elite political competition is fierce, and able ministers have been removed when deemed to be occupying too much of the limelight. President Hamid Karzai, while articulate and incorruptible, remains wedded to a politics of barginning and networking that has seen unappetizing figures promoted to positions they have then abused. This has created space for the resurgence of the Taliban in the south, with Pakistani backing. The new Afghan National Army is proving too expensive to be locally sustainable, and the police force offers only a pale shadow of what is needed. The predominance of opium in the economy poses the risk that Afghanistan could become a narco-state, and on a range of human development indicators it remains one of the world’s poorest countries, with popular frustration rising. While foreign governments have contributed large sums to reconstruction, too much money has gone to Western contractors, at the expense of local capacity. It is not too late to turn things around, but time is running short. Only if the Afghan government re-focuses on the delivery of competent, clean and inclusive governance, and the wider world ensures that its commitments match it rhetoric, is it all likely that disaster can be avoided.
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About the author

William Maley

William Maley is Senior Lecturer in Politics, University College, University of New South Wales, Australian Defence Force Academy. He has co-edited The Soviet Withdrawal from Afghanistan and co-authored Regime Change in Afghanistan: Foreign Intervention and the Politics of Legitimacy and Political Order in Post-Communist Afghanistan.

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Bibliographic information

Title Rescuing Afghanistan
Author William Maley
Format Hardcover
Date published: 01.01.2006
Edition 1st ed.
Publisher Hurst & Company
Language: English
isbn 1850658463
length 175p., Maps; References; Index; 20cm.