Progress In Afghanistan

For all the complaints that the situation in Afghanistan is falling apart, the recent creation of a new Afghan constitution is a major step towards stability. The process of creating the new government went off without bloodshed and produced a document that preserves the rights of minorities and contains a balanced system of powers including an independent judiciary.

Of course this is only one step of many, but it is an important first step. Karzai’s power may not extend much past Kabul at the moment, but inertia is on his side. The major warlords such as the notorious Uzbek Gen. Abdul Rashid Dostum actually were willing to negotiate with Karzai, which shows that there is a certain amount of respect for the Afghan President. Furthermore, Kabul can serve as a model for development – the city, once largely a field of rubble, is seeing new construction and a return to a normalcy that has not been seen in decades.

It’s helpful to see Afghanistan through the lens of a developing country. The United States didn’t start out as a superpower – after the formation of our government we still had "warlords" like Daniel Shays roaming the country, vast stretches of land with little to no development, and a system of government that was fraught with contension and worry. Yet we survived, and Afghanistan will too. It would be too much to ask for that development not to have its setbacks, but given what Afghanistan was three years ago, the Afghan people – be they Uzbek, Pashtun, or otherwise – have much to be happy about.

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