International donors have sunk millions of dollars in an ineffectual, expensive, and easily circumvented Afghan voter registration system that is barely worthy of the name. But more importantly, the problems it is designed to address have proven completely negligible when compared to more prevalent forms of fraud such as ballot box stuffing and fraudulent counting.
In 2008, Seyed Hasan, a father of 6, fled his home in the Wardak province of eastern Afghanistan. Hasan’s family applied for refugee status in Turkey, but their initial claim was rejected. Over four years later, the family was finally granted refugee status. But their situation did not improve.
A panel of experts looks at the U.S. and NATO end game in Afghanistan.
Although most Washington policymakers would simply prefer that Afghanistan disappear, they must still come up with a politically palatable solution regarding U.S. involvement. Here are three scenarios for how the U.S. might manage its involvement in the country between now and 2014.
Were conservative Washington think-tankers helping determine U.S. strategy in Afghanistan?
In the interest of keeping vital global issues in the discussion, Foreign Policy in Focus reached out to scholars at the Institute for Policy Studies—our institutional home—to sketch out progressive perspectives on the world issues we don’t expect to get fair treatment in the debates between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Without an informed citizenry, these crucial topics will always fall by the wayside. So read up, and share widely!
Mitt Romney’s foreign policy speech at the Virginia Military Institute, while trotted out as a major rejection of the current administration’s approach to the Middle East, mostly just rehashed President Obama’s policies, albeit with more hawkish bravado. But Romney’s speech also included a host of faulty assumptions about Arabs and Muslims, indicating a potentially reckless misunderstanding of America’s relationship with the Muslim world.
Governmental corruption is a huge issue in many of the countries that the United States seeks to influence. Afghanistan is only one of the more notable cases in which corruption is rampant. America has put millions into USAID and State Department projects designed to combat corruption, but there is very little to show for its efforts. To date, no high-level corruption prosecution has gone forward in Afghanistan.
Although the war in Afghanistan—with its tally of U.S. combat deaths now exceeding 2,000—has largely faded from the news, it is useful to consider why the conflict is so intractable. Why has a campaign that initially seemed so hopeful resulted in a country that is politically fractured and increasingly deadly for Afghans and foreign militaries alike?
The most prominent and unequivocal public articulation of an alliance between feminism and counterterrorism came at the dawn of the U.S. war in Afghanistan, when Laura Bush argued that “the fight against terrorism is a fight for the rights and dignity of women.”