Friday, September 08, 2006

Afghanistan: Interview with regional analyst Barnet Rubin

"What has gone right and what has gone wrong". We need to avoid assuming that Afghanistan is like Iraq or any other of the Arab states. And, contrary to the general viewpoint of Pakistanis, Afghanistan is not now dominated solely by Pushtuns and so cannot be regarded as a Pushtun state in the sense that it historically was until the 1980s. There are still possibilities there -- unlike Iraq, for which hope seems to have faded. Barnett Rubin's perceptions of the situation should be taken very seriously.

AFGHANISTAN: Interview with regional analyst Barnet Rubin
Published: June 20, 2006 (

ANKARA - Almost five years since the US-led coalition ousted the Taliban regime from Afghanistan, observers say security is at an all-time low outside the capital and confidence in the international effort to rebuild the country is questionable.

Despite presidential and parliamentary elections leading to the country’s first democratically elected legislature in more than three decades, economic progress has been painfully slow with opium production remaining widespread.

Barnet Rubin is an acknowledged expert on the country and wider region and spoke to IRIN in Ankara about the challenges Afghanistan faces in consolidating reconstruction and extending governance beyond Kabul.

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