Opinion of Afghanistan? (user search)

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  Opinion of Afghanistan? (search mode)
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Author Topic: Opinion of Afghanistan?  (Read 1008 times)
Atlas Institution
Posts: 66,180
United Kingdom

« on: July 24, 2022, 03:00:11 PM »

I have a lot of affection for the place, and this has only increased as a result of meeting and getting to know Afghans. It's customary to write it off as a place that never really had a chance, but this isn't fair: it was always going to be difficult due to raw geography and extreme ethnic and tribal fragmentation, but comparatively stable societies have been built out of worse hands and there was slow but quite real progress on this front in the postwar decades. After the Communist coup and the Soviet invasion though... well, perhaps not. It was decided that the only way to bring the population to heel was to break Afghan society, and while the goal was never achieved the means, alas, was. Some of the attempts to re-create a functioning society after 2001 were more successful than has become fashionable to acknowledge (which is causing some mild but unexpected - and thus interesting - problems for the Taliban) and it's hard not to wonder what might have been had successive American governments cared about the place a little more (enough to learn about it and to adjust strategy accordingly) or, actually, a little less (enough to allow decisions to be made by others) but what happened, happened.
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