Is Afghanistan Broken?

I apologize for putting a humanitarian crisis into the category of dumb question, but it does need to be asked.

Hospitals built by donations can not be opened and likely will never run. See this Al Jazeera pointer. A lot of time, effort, and money seems to be at waste.

Meanwhile, we are warned that the Afghan government could collapse after troop withdrawal in 2014. See another pointer here. Search for this text: “Karzai seems more interested in perpetuating his own power by any means rather than ensuring credibility of the political system and long-term stability¬†of the country”.

The United States has been training Afghanistan militias, but had to pause this because they feared infiltrators were in the classes. See here for this on CBC News.

I think Afghanistan is being pulled through several levels of civilization change at an unnatural pace. The folkways have not had time to adapt to what we consider normal, modern ideas. Equality of women is not taken seriously. Central government, and national loyalty, can be trumped by tribal alliances and obligations. Yet we are trying to set it up as if these difficulties could be swept away without a half-century of education and acculturation – which, should we attempt it, will be taken as interference, which in a strict sense, it is.

IMHO Afghanistan is a bit like Saudi Arabia. There is a ruling class and a city class. There is also a desert nomad class (or classes) that have never had deep loyalty to the others.

So, we have given them our ideas of democracy, and central government, which can only be kept working by general agreement or by force. Once the restraint of foreign troops is withdrawn, and the benefit (mostly lack of it) of foreign donations understood, the result is predicable.

Or is it? Is Afghanistan broken?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *