The Graveyard of Empires
Contd from last Saturday
America might have been on the winning side during World War II but war with Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan were bad choices and indeed not necessary. Tens of thousands of Afghans have died in fighting over supporting democracy and stability in Afghanistan. Incidentally, US global share of arms exports has increased by 37 percent during the last five years. India had so far strictly refused to put boots on the ground of Afghanistan but invested heavily in training security forces and supplying with necessary equipment. India’s strategy in Afghanistan is for building peace and stability by pledging $2 billion aid, while engaging active works in the construction, infrastructure, human capital building and mining sectors. However Pakistan played destabilizing role helping safe haven for terror groups with strategic depth against India.
Years of violence, instability and widespread corruption have crippled Afghanistan’s economy in terms of worse per-capita GDP. Its rugs are one of main exports and pomegranates are famous. Afghan saffron (medicinal herbs) has been recognized as the world’s best, yet the country of dried fruits and nuts has been the least developed in the modern era. The global opium and heroin business not only provided the sole income for poor farmers but also a boon for the Taliban while engaging cultivation and production of illegal drug trade. After Taliban takeover, they are likely to face the challenge of the dethroned Government and without international aid the former enjoyed, the country won’t be able to access IMF resources due to uncertainty over the recognition of a Government and will face further currency depreciation leading to hyperinflation. The entire world is keenly watching the development. (To be contd)