Regions / Afghanistan
With a constitution ratified and the country's first elections in decades scheduled for June-July 2004--although the continued deterioration of security conditions have placed this target in doubt--the Bonn political process has entered its final phase.
Afghans have seized the opportunity provided by the United States and its international partners to lay the foundation for democratic institutions and provide a framework for national elections.
Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq is "under control," particularly when it comes to monetary costs.
A number of factors and conditions have led to Afghanistan's security dilemma.
In the foreign policy arena, the administration of U.S. President George W. Bush is having about as much trouble making it to first base as Bud Abbott and Lou Costello in their old-time comedy skit "Who's on First."
Congress is set to give the Pentagon more than $400 billion to spend on war preparations and now, it seems, on the "non-wars."
Though force may be the only language that Afghanistan's spoiler groups understand, they can only survive as long as they have a fountain of discontent to draw support from. Remove this support base, and these groups will succumb to pressure and fade away
The success of peace-building activities in Afghanistan is dependent on the existence of a robust and durable commitment by the international community.
Afghanistan and Iraq, wracked by decades of conflict and deprivation, require intensive, long-term, and durable commitments of international support.
The internationally supported reconstruction and nation-building effort in Afghanistan can boast many successes in the period since the Taliban's collapse in November 2001.