Regions / Europe & Central Asia
As Washington prepares for war in Iraq, officials are trying to reassure Afghanistan that it will not be lost in the shuffle
With all this talk of freedom, it is important to ask the question, how are Afghan women enduring American-style freedom?
The fall of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan in November 2001 presented the international community with an unprecedented opportunity to restore peace and security to a perennial trouble spot.
Afghanistan is beginning to look like a quagmire rather than a victory, with echoes of the confusion and uncertainty and persistent bloodshedding of Vietnam.
The current South Asian crisis seems to have ebbed, but the underlying dynamic remains.
Since September 11 and the ensuing war on terrorism, Central Asia's geopolitics have been further complicated by the new military presence of the United States, whose troops are now stationed in China's and Russia's backyard.
Some call the present era one of U.S. hegemony. Others, especially in Europe, call it empire.
At one level there is a kind of donor fatigue, at another there are concerns about security in the country.
No one knows how big the problem of clandestine trafficking in radioactive materials is.
"Free and fair" elections under a military government imply continuity of military rule, not a transfer of power to an elected parliament.