Afghanistan's future


The US pull-out from Afghanistan will be in 2014. To 2024 NATO allies led by the US will finally stretch its $4.1 billion annual military aid. In 2018, the $4.1 billion annual civilian aid promised by international donors is to end. So Hamid Karzai, the President of the country does not have to be worried about being abandoned by Western allies by 2014. The US has promised sustained funding of the country’s development projects. But the Afghan people are still worried. They know that a weak economy cannot survive merely with external aid. The per capita income may increase temporarily. Mortality rates may fall and there may be greater access to education. But corruption has entered into the vitals of the Afghan economy. Power is concentrated in the hands of the feudal elite and the drug barons. International aid can only strengthen these structures of inequity. The condition of the people will not improve. In the past, it accounted for the resurgence of the Taliban.

Foreign aid will not bolster up the economy and violence will not abate in Afghanistan in the circumstances. International donors have laid the condition that 20% of the aid will have to be utilized to fight corruption. But unless the bastions of corruption are demolished, there can be no reform. Afghanistan will have to have a responsible and responsive government. The donors will have to guard against supporting unpopular regimes.