Within a 40-minute drive of this city stands the 11th-century Bost Arch. A former gateway to Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand Province, the arch is today a national historic site; it even appears on the 100-afghani note. The arch withstood centuries of invasions, but today it’s a crumbling mess of inept supports and clumsy renovations.
Helmand has been the setting of some of the fiercest fighting in the Afghan war, yet strangely, damage to monuments like the Bost Arch has increased even as the security situation has improved. The problem is that they have gone neglected by the local and national governments, falling prey to squatters, treasure hunters and time.… Seguir leyendo »
As Western leaders and Congress debate NATO's responsibilities in Afghanistan, it's time to dissolve two great American illusions about Afghanistan.
The first is that Hamid Karzai is a good president who looks after American interests. The second is that the situation in Afghanistan is going from bad to worse. Both of these unchallenged "facts" are dangerous errors.
Karzai manages by panic, with massive corruption and an absence of vision. It's a tribute to the Afghan people's energy and U.S.-implemented economic regulations and reforms that Afghanistan's gross domestic product has more than doubled since the invasion. But Karzai has sought to derail grass-roots efforts at building democracy and to stifle Afghanistan's nascent civil society, repeatedly siding with fundamentalists against progressives.… Seguir leyendo »