Solutions Not Imminent for Afghan Displaced and Refugees

by Hiram Ruiz | published December 4, 2001

The collapse of the Taliban in northern and western Afghanistan in November was good news for aid workers seeking to get food and other necessities to war- and drought-affected Afghans. Expectations of greater security, of an end to US bombing in many areas and the opening of new supply routes from Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Iran suggested the possibility of reaching many more needy Afghans than previously thought likely.

Pakistan's Dilemma

by Kamran Asdar Ali | published September 19, 2001

Catcher's Mitt

Obama, Pakistan, and the Afghan Wars to Come

by Graham Usher | published December 31, 2009

Pakistan lies at the heart of President Barack Obama’s plan to wind down America’s war in Afghanistan. If -- as he avers -- the “overarching goal” is to “disrupt, dismantle and defeat al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan,” the war will be fought mainly in Pakistan. With fewer than a hundred fighters, al-Qaeda was defeated long ago in Afghanistan.

Afghan Wonderland

by Christian Parenti
published in MER239

The international occupation of Afghanistan is in bad shape. US casualties are up -- at times the ratio of killed and wounded to troops deployed is equal to that in Iraq, though of course the total numbers are not. Taliban attacks are intensifying, and now include frequent suicide bombings. Kidnappings are becoming more common. NGOs are being attacked and pulling out. Over 200 schools have been burned down and closed. Each year, fewer roads are safe to travel. The country’s economy lies in ruins and its government is a largely dysfunctional kleptocracy. A new round of aid is coming -- at a February 2006 donors’ conference in London, $10.5 billion was pledged through 2011 -- but the long-term prognosis looks bad.

The Afghan Triangle

Kashmir, India, Pakistan

by Graham Usher
published in MER251

The Pakistani army’s operation in the Swat Valley in northwest Pakistan is the most sustained in five years of selective counterinsurgency against the local Taliban. The toll already is immense: 1.9 million internally displaced, including tens of thousands housed in tents on parched plains; 15,000 soldiers battling 5,000 guerrillas; and more than a thousand dead, mainly militants according to available counts but also soldiers and of course civilians.