Why is it that we have not seen more positive results in Afghanistan since 2001? What are the major challenges, for the Afghans and for us?

Security has worsened in many parts of the country despite increased numbers of international and Afghan forces, and Afghanistan remains close to the bottom of the Human Development Index despite major development investments over the last 10 years.

Relations between President Karzai and the international community has been strained as he has increasingly criticised NATO for civilian casualties and asked them to consider leaving Afghanistan. The Afghan government has weakened its internal support due to a high degree of “elite capture” that has lead to nepotism, corruption and weakened governance. Ethnic and religious dividing lines play a part here, as does decades of war and the impact and influence of regional conflicts.

Arne Strand

Deputy Director, Research Director, U4 Director