Monday, February 21, 2005
Bush Breaks More Promises
While landmark October elections showed Afghanistan's political progress, the report urged President Hamid Karzai and his international backers to redouble their efforts to tackle miserable health and education standards, as well as growing inequality which could fuel fresh conflict.
"Sustained peace in Afghanistan is not guaranteed despite the early successes in state-building," it said. "The price the international community would pay to protect itself from Afghanistan would be far greater than what it will pay to help develop the country."
Karzai wrote the forward for the study, saying it would help craft better policy.
"Curbing corruption, bringing reconstruction gains to all regions of Afghanistan, drawing in foreign investment in a secure involvement and opening up the political process to participation remain the top priorities," Karzai wrote. "As the country now turns a new leaf, our ambition is to give hope to each and every Afghan."
...most of the country's income is being mopped up by warlords with strong political and military connections, creating a dangerous gap between rich and poor and between the cities and the countryside. Half of all Afghans are poor, it said.
The report was also critical of the U.S.-led military engagement in Afghanistan, saying it helped produce a climate of ``fear, intimidation, terror and lawlessness'' and neglected the longer-term threat to security posed by inequality and injustice.
It also described reconstruction projects sponsored by the U.S. military as "inadequate and dangerous," echoing concern from some relief groups that they have blurred the lines between soldiers and civilians, and made aid workers into militant targets.
Source: New York Times/AP UN: Afghanistan Could Become Terror Haven Feb 21, 2005
Interesting how George W. "Values" Bush can't seem to keep any of his promises...must be Bill Clinton's fault.