AFGHANISTAN - Nation Building or Destruction of a Nation
(October 23, 2021)

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People seem to be wondering about the war of 20 years, two trillion dollars, over 100.000 dead, millions displaced and then a country left worse off than it was before the war started. 

 

How could the “nation-building” go so wrong? Was it because it started with an invasion, forced top-down with military might ignoring the cultural fabric, customs, and traditions, relying on the warlords, imposing hand-picked Governments with no proper institutions and writ?

 

Was “nation-building” ever the real purpose in the first place, as proclaimed by the intruders, or just a post-justification of the invasion?

 

Would capitalist countries ever make such huge “investments” and “sacrifices” to selflessly help to build democracy and protect women’s rights?

 

Was it just another enterprise led by global capitalism and neo-liberalism, a “business venture” under the guise of bringing a self-serving version of democracy, as in many other countries before and after Afghanistan?

 

How many goals we were told about have been achieved? Why the decision was taken to abandon Afghanistan, leaving a chaotic situation behind? 

 

The fact is that all so-called nation-building plans and efforts ended up in a nation destroyed with even more extremism. Its impact is not only felt within the borders of Afghanistan but in the whole region and worldwide. All global and regional players are racing to protect their interests. Pakistan stands to win or lose most.

 

At OPP’s online Dialogue, we have discussed the above questions, continuation of exploitation, the bigger global game, the desire to remain an unchallenged sole global superpower, creating new geopolitical realities to strengthen and sustain hegemony and control. 

 

Our speaker is Mr Zahid Hussain – A writer, journalist, and TV analyst. As a correspondent, he covers Pakistan and Afghanistan for The Times of London and The Wall Street Journal. His work includes assignments for Newsweek, the Associated PressThe Economist and several other international publications. Mr Zahid Hussain writes regularly for the Pakistani daily newspaper Dawn and the magazine Newsline. He is the author of several books including Frontline Pakistan; The Struggle with Militant Islam; The Scorpion's Tail: The Relentless Rise of Islamic Militants in Pakistan; Pakistan's Tribal Areas and Regional Security; No-Win War - The Paradox of US-Pakistan Relations in Afghanistan’s Shadow.

A written report shall be uploaded soon