#1
For all you politics/economics nerds out there, i need some help on a final paper for my comparative politics final paper. I need 10 pages, and any extra opinions/ideas/facts can help. Here's the prompt for the essay:

What is the primary obstacle to the creation of a stable, prosperous Afghanistan?

Any thoughts? What can/should America's role be in this process?
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#2
Quote by CrabSoldier X
For all you politics/economics nerds out there, i need some help on a final paper for my comparative politics final paper. I need 10 pages, and any extra opinions/ideas/facts can help. Here's the prompt for the essay:

What is the primary obstacle to the creation of a stable, prosperous Afghanistan?

Any thoughts? What can/should America's role be in this process?


Poverty, corrupton and the denying of schooling for everyone. Perhaps.

Not sure America should take any role at all if I'm to be honest.
sometimes I see us in a cymbal splash or in the sound of a car crash
Last edited by JohnnyGenzale at May 2, 2011,
#5
Afghanistan's biggest obstacle is corruption in the government. With a stable and effective government, they could work with the West, as opposed to against the West, and they'd be able to work towards ending the massive poverty and uneducation in their nation.
#6
-Tribal traditions
-Conflicting interests of outside forces (both state and corporate).
-Poor living and working conditions

IMO anyway, I'm not really an expert.
#7
Religion having a far too big spot in the room of politics is something I see as trouble. I'm a swede so I'm rather skeptical to religion in the political forum. It's causing a lot of trouble but that I guess is in combination with the general living of Afghanistan and not the religion as a sole actor.
sometimes I see us in a cymbal splash or in the sound of a car crash
#8
Grave this on your memory, lad: A nation is supported by four things:

The learning of the wise; the justice of the great; the prayers of the righteous and the valour of the brave. But all of these things are as nothing without a ruler who knows the art of ruling. Make that the science of your tradition!
#9
the taliban?
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#10
the fact that it's always filled with foreign armies or religious extremists
#12
Have you read Migdal? I think his conclusion was that the biggest problem in Weak states are the position of local strongmen, the Triangle of Power at the local level, and the politics of survival at the national level that create the Paradox of the weak state.

Colonist deceided to deal wth local strongmen to establish their trade. The Strongmen would gain in power, and became a vital middle-men between the center of power and the people in their region. The position of strongmen is a problem in Afghanistan but also in Libya. The central government is unable to penetrate society the way western countries do.

The triangle of power at the local level consists of the local strongmen, the politicians and the civil servants. If the central government writes legislation the local strongmen dislikes he goes to the local politician, who needs the votes of the population of he local strongmen. The politician then visits the civil servant who is in charge of the legislation, and makes sure it isn't put through.

The Politics of survival are a consequence of the failure of the central government to become the strongest organization within the borders of the state. Leaders needs strong governmental institutions to penetrate society. Strong governmental institutions are a threat to the power of the National leaders. Therefor national leaders choose to keep their institutions weak (Ghadaffi did this, for example with the military, instead he created his own well-trained guards). Leaders then choose to rotate upper-civil servants between the varying institutions to make sure they dont bind to any of them.

This is very global theory, just see if you can use it on Afghanistan. If you have the time. Read Migdal's Strong Societies & Weak States.
Last edited by DavidBenyamin at May 2, 2011,
#13
Quote by Baby Joel
Afghanistan's biggest obstacle is corruption in the government. With a stable and effective government, they could work with the West, as opposed to against the West, and they'd be able to work towards ending the massive poverty and uneducation in their nation.

Because the west is a shining beacon of justice and corruption cannot happen here. It only happens in those 'other' places right?
#14
Quote by Zoot Allures
Because the west is a shining beacon of justice and corruption cannot happen here. It only happens in those 'other' places right?


Oh you
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#15
foreign armies always occupying the joint over there
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#17
Quote by Baby Joel
Afghanistan's biggest obstacle is corruption in the government. With a stable and effective government, they could work with the West, as opposed to against the West, and they'd be able to work towards ending the massive poverty and uneducation in their nation.


I agree, it just raises the question of should America, once again, intervene in Afghanistans government, because if im not mistaken, the elected regime right now still relies on former warlords who retain considerable control over local regions.

Ps. Thanks for all your input.
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#18
Every 10 years some jagoff comes and blows the place to bits.

But seriously, the tribal nature of the area. There is no legitimate national authority, its all small tribes. Ethnic conflicts don't help either, seeing as how its at the junction of the Middle East, the Caucus and Asia.
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#19
Quote by Zoot Allures
Because the west is a shining beacon of justice and corruption cannot happen here. It only happens in those 'other' places right?

That's not at all what I was saying. Or at least, it wasn't at all what I meant to say.
I meant that with a stable, non terrorist government, the West wouldn't be focused on invading, destroying, using, etc etc Afghanistan. If Afghanistan had a stable and intelligent government, they could use the West to sell their natural resources that the West wants.

As for what the West (read: America) should do in terms of level of involvement, I really have no idea. I would say that they should focus on humanitarian efforts, working to educate, feed, etc etc the poor.

I think most of it just lies with the Middle Eastearn / Arab / Afghanistan culture. The people historically have had an incredibly different style of government, and as said, there is the problem with tribal leaders. Break up the tribes, and create a unified body of people, and the government should (hopefully) follow suit.
Last edited by Baby Joel at May 2, 2011,
#20
From what I've read recently things seem to be improving although how much of that is build up to justify the pull out in 2014 I don't know.
#21
There is a serious problem with ethnic divisions. Particularly Pashtun vs. the rest.

I really have no idea how to solve the problem. Investment by wealthy states? Building infrastructure and creating a stable economy that will decrease grievances against the West and the state itself, thus decreasing the number of those who find extremism to be a good idea.
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#22
Religion having a far too big spot in the room of politics is something I see as trouble. I'm a swede so I'm rather skeptical to religion in the political forum. It's causing a lot of trouble but that I guess is in combination with the general living of Afghanistan and not the religion as a sole actor.[/QUOTE

Religion doesn't play as large a role in Afghan government as you would think. The Karzai administration has been pretty "by the book" in terms of following democracy, but the country is still struggling to gain legitimacy on an international scale. What Karzai needs to stop doing is appointing former warlords and corrupted bastards into his cabinet and the national assembly.
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