|Kabul: 5:35 AM      |
Welcome to Kabul:Reconstructions. You can follow the information below, which has been gathered from a
number of sources by a number of participants (click on the names at left for bios), to reconstruct your
own picture of events in Kabul since this site was launched on March 8th, 2003 and, in a sense, since the
reconstruction of Afghanistan began somewhere in the winter of 2001-02.
Some of this information has been provided in response to specific questions submitted by visitors like you. Please note that this section of the project is now maintained as an archive and has not been updated since 2005. Click here to ASK A QUESTION.
Arian Mouj Sharifi
US senators question stability of Afghan state (Reuters)
10/29/03 15:29 ET U.S. senators worried Afghanistan falling apart By Jonathan Wright, Reuters WASHINGTON, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Two influential U.S. senators questioned the stability of the Afghan government on Wednesday and warned the U.S. envoy and ambassador-designate to Kabul that the country may fall apart on his watch. "We are in jeopardy of losing Afghanistan to become a failed state again," Sen. Joseph Biden told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at a hearing on the nomination of Zalmay Khalilzad as ambassador to Kabul. "Are you confident that somehow you are not going to go out for an ambassadorship in which things, I wouldn't say fall apart at the seams, but nevertheless seem to be continually unraveling?" asked Sen. Richard Lugar, the Indiana Republican who is chairman of the committee. Khalilzad, an Afghan-born diplomat who has been at the center of U.S. policy in Afghanistan for the past two years, might find that "the engine seems to be falling apart" while he is in Kabul, Lugar added. "That would be a very unfortunate experience for you and tragic for us," he said. Lugar and Biden, a Delaware Democrat and ranking minority senator on the committee, have long urged a greater U.S. commitment to Afghanistan, which the United States invaded in 2001 to overthrow the ruling Taliban. The Taliban had sheltered al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, the man believed to have planned the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington in which 3,000 Americans died. The Bush administration has given Afghanistan a lower priority than Iraq, as reflected in its request that the U.S. Congress approve $20 billion for rebuilding Iraq and about $1 billion for Afghanistan. The United States has also pressed other members of NATO to provide most of the troops for an international peace force in Afghanistan. Until recently, it showed little enthusiasm for the idea of expanding the NATO force to areas outside Kabul. Biden said that even after NATO approved an expansion, he was not sure that the Bush administration fully backed it. DRUGS AND MONEY Biden also quoted a report by the Vienna-based U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime as saying that Afghanistan was in danger of falling into the hands of drug cartels. "Either major surgical drug-control measures are taken now or the drug cancer in Afghanistan will keep spreading and metastasize into corruption, violence and terrorism," the U.N. agency's director, Antonio Maria Costa, said in the report. "The opium framers and traffickers brought home about $2.3 billion -- or about half the country's legitimate gross domestic product -- in 2003, according to this report," Biden said. Khalilzad said success for the United States in Afghanistan was likely. "I think we are making progress. There are some trends that are not positive although I think we are heading strategically in the right direction," he added. "Those leaders who behave as warlords, I think their future is in some serious question. ... An area that I will focus on would be to assist the government ... to extend its authority and get faction leaders to cooperate and, if they don't cooperate, to find another line of work for them," he said. But U.S. officials said the National Security Council, where Khalilzad worked as special envoy for Afghan policy, was not unduly concerned about the phenomenon of Afghan warlords, who control whole provinces and run private armies.
Posted By: mariam   November 3rd 2003, 2003 11:04 AM
Kabul: Partial Reconstructions is an installation
and public dialogue project that explores the multiple meanings and resonances of
the idea of reconstruction -- as both process and metaphor -- in the context of present-day Kabul.
www.kabul-reconstructions.net is an online discussion forum, information resource, and medium for the communication of questions and answers about the reconstruction between people inside and outside the city of Kabul itself.