News & Analysis 7017388637_52852d2deb_b

Published on September 9th, 2013 | by EJC


What Holds The Future For Afghanistan?

At the end of 2014, Dutch, British, US and other NATO troops will end their frontline role in the Afghanistan war. We have been witnessing active online debate with analyses and predictions about the future of the war torn county, ranging from excessively optimistic to the possibility of the country sinking into chaos of another civil war.

Some feel there’s space for peace negotiations with the Afghan government and the Taliban; they are disputed by many who are not convinced that the Taliban is partner for peace. Others fear the interference of regional countries with India replacing the US as a military backer and Pakistan ‘clawing back to the frame’.

The military forces that have been involved with the police training mission believe the base for a constitutional state has been layed and say, “the Afghan security forces are ready and it is up to them to eradicate the insurgents”. A naïve thought, critics believe. They predict that as soon as the foreigners have drawdown, local police men will be fighting for their lives again. Insurgents are not likely to suddenly disappear, and peace is not possible without a political deal.

Afghan citizens are anxious about the state of the economy and their security. They fear a civil war and suffer the most: the number of civilians harmed in the battle rose with 25 percent in the first six months of 2013, according to Unicef.

Afghans that have been able to start up businesses with the assistance of NGO’s pouring into the country the last couple of years fear that there will be less work and money when the foreigners leave. That anxiety has given rise to a dubious mantra: Get rich by 2014 or leave the country.

In the above visual, different viewpoints, predictions and opinions from the experts, Afghan citizens, international journalists and military that served in the war are clustered. From highly hopeful, to overly pessimistic views.

About the Author:
Gemma van der Kamp is a journalist and anthropologist. She currently works as a freelance journalist, partly for the Dutch broadcaster RTL News. Gemmaholds a Master Degree in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Amsterdam and a MA in International Journalism from City University London.Her anthropological field research and development work led her to live for short periods in India and Sri Lanka. She aspires to combine her career in journalism with media development. Follow her on Twitter or e-mail her.

Photo: Cpl. Reece Lodder, U.S. Marine Corps 


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