Given resumed Taliban power and attacks, Afghanistan must tackle a host of serious problems before it can emerge as a confident, independent nation. Security in this battered state continues to deteriorate; suicide bombings, convoy ambushes, and insurgent attacks are still all too common. Effective state building depends upon eliminating the national security crisis and enhancing the rule of law. This book offers a blueprint for moving the embattled nation toward greater democracy and prosperity. Robert Rotberg and his colleagues argue that the future success of state building in Afghanistan depends on reducing its dependence on the opium trade and enhancing its economic status. Many of Afghanistan’s security problems are related to poppy growing, opium and heroin production, and drug trafficking. Building a New Afghanistan suggests controversial new alternatives to immediate eradication, which is foolish and counter-productive. These options include monetary incentives for growing wheat, a viable local crop. Greater wheat production would feed hungry Afghans while reducing narco-trafficking and the terror that comes with it.
Integrating land-locked Afghanistan into the Central Asia or greater Eurasia economy would open up trading partnerships with its northern and western neighbours as well as with Pakistan, India, and possibly China. Developing a sense of common purpose among citizens would benefit the economy and could help to unite the nation. Perhaps most important, bolstering better governance in Afghanistan is necessary in order to reduce chaos and corruption and enact nationwide reforms. Fresh and insightful, Building a New Afghanistan shows what the country’s leadership and the international community should do to resolve dangerous issues and bolster a still fragile state. ISBN: 9789694025087 Publisher: VANGUARD BOOKS
Essays of Lord Macaulay on Robert Clive and Warren Hastings are perhaps known to every English household; but they refer to more episodes in the history, and are wanting in that familiarity with native character and forms of thought which is essential to a right appreciation of the great collision between Europe and Asia that has been going on in India for the last two centuries.
The truth is that the preparation of a history of India, political and religious, is a far more difficult and laborious task than is generally imagined.
The author began work at Madras under every possible advantage. There were libraries containing almost unique collections of books pertaining to India. To these were added the government records at Madras, which were freely opened to the author by Sir Charles Trevelyan, who was at that time Governor.
The writer has no desire to carry the reader into his workshop, or to dwell on the extent of his labors. It will suffice to say that having sounded the depths of his ignorance, he has since then lost no opportunity, official or literary, to perfect his knowledge of Indian history.
His history of British India is now given for the first time in the present volumes. It is an entirely independent work, drawn direct from the fountain head, after a study of the records of the Government of India, official reports and parliamentary blue books, and annals, memoirs, travels, or correspondences, as have been found to yield historical materials.
Compared to post-invasion Iraq, Afghanistan seems a success story; but first impressions can be misleading. The country remains on a knife-edge, and the loss of momentum in its transition from the Taliban regime puts Afghanistan at grave risk of relapsing into dangerous insecurity.
Although many Afghans have contributed courageously to rescuing their country, and some key benchmarks have been achieved, Afghanistan continues to face severe difficulties. Elite political competition is fierce, and able ministehave been removed when deemed to be occupying too much of the limelight. President Hamid Karzai, while articulate and incorruptible, remains wedded to a politics of bargaining and networking that has seen unappetizing figures promoted to positions they have then abused. This has created space for the resurgence of the Taliban in the south, with Pakistani backing. The new Afghan National Army is proving too expensive to be locally sustainable, and the police force offeonly a pale shadow of what is needed. The predominance of opium in the economy poses the risk that Afghanistan could become a nacre-state, and on a range of human development indicatoit remains one of the world’s poorest countries, with popular frustration rising. While foreign governments have contributed large sums to reconstruction, too much money ahs gone to Western contractors, at the expense of local capacity.
It is not too late to turn things around, but time is running short. Only if the Afghan government re-focuses on the delivery of competent, clean and inclusive governance and the wider world ensures that its commitments match its rhetoric, is it at all likely that disaster can be avoided. ISBN: 1850658463 Publisher: C. HURST & CO