The human cost of conflict in Afghanistan
War in afghanistan
Decades of conflict have rendered Afghanistan politically and socially fractured, its
population profoundly and violently affected, and its future precarious.
has demonstrated a vibrant and resilient national character—particularly in the face of
foreign presence and occupation.
Despite a plethora of international political pressures,
including allegiances to regional powers—the country today remains constrained by
complex obstacles that impede its ability to thrive in the absence of international actors
driving assistance, stabilization, state-building, and development agendas.
Indeed, since the
United States invasion in late 2001, while international discourse has promoted a
commitment to the stability, peace, and the rebuilding of Afghanistan.
grown increasingly beholden to the ambitions and decisions of international stakeholders.
Many Afghans place blame for the country’s current precarious state on the very
international efforts intended to help the country emerge out of protracted conflict and
dependency. In the pointed words of one Afghan interviewed for this report:
International engagement is, in fact, central to Afghanistan’s current predicament.
Military presence is a key driver of the conflict; the war economy is lucrative to the
elite and many international interests. In this context.
Afghans might benefit on any significant scale from development or humanitarian
assistance is questionable, even though there are some successes.
Without a critical reevaluation of the drivers of the conflict, the responsibilities for how the
conflict has unfolded, and the consequences of perpetuating instability in the country, the
diverse and imbricated challenges that Afghanistan faces will render its ability to turn the
page on a history of violence tenuous, if not impossible.
Indeed, on the seventeenth
anniversary of the initiation of the U.S. invasion, at least fifty-four Afghans were killed