Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Rebuilding Afghanistan

Afghanistan Security and Economy, 3/3/17 Video 

Mohammad Homayun Qayoumi, chief adviser to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, delivered remarks on the future of Afghanistan. He addressed the current security environment, efforts to fight government corruption, and economic development challenges. In addition, Mr. Qayoumi said he was encouraged by the Trump administration’s focus on global terrorism but urged for the continued U.S. commitment to Afghanistan. 


This video is provided by the Center for Strategic and International Studies. This CSIS video is moderated by Anthony Cordesman, Chairman. The presentation is made by Mohammad Homayun Osyoumi, Chief Infrastructure and Technology Advisor to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani


There are 20 terrorist groups in Afghanistan fighting the Afghan Military and they expect more as the Syrian and Iraq ISIS wars are won. The reduction of US military forces has produced unemployment of those who were supporting the US military and their contractors.


The Afghan government needs to restore their economy. They are looking at what to grow and they need more dams to catch snow melt and irrigation systems. They want 29 dams to yield electric power and this water storage to increase irrigation. They want to expand agriculture to include what neighboring countries need.  They need to renew their oil, gas and mining coal, marble, metals and precious stones, diamonds, etc.  They want investors, not handouts.


Afghanistan and all other neighboring countries that include Pakistan, India, China, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Italy, lack power generation and efficient means to transport goods across countries. Railroads are needed. Afghan electricity is imported and needs to be expanded to produce their own electricity. Roads are needed. Countries in the region do not let goods cross their countries and this needs to change. Imports exceed exports.  Employment is down.


Fighting corruption resulted in savings in government purchasing. Changes were made in the Judiciary and Military.


Afghans earn $1 or $2 dollars a day. They need infrastructure to allow local development. Local populations want the ability to support themselves, mainly through agriculture. The government wants to support self-sufficiency for local families. Afghan poppy farmers are reluctant to grow other crops that don’t yield comparable income to them.  This locks local Afghans into the drug business and ties them to the terrorists and the Taliban.


Afghanistan is in the same situation as Iraq. The Taliban has retaken ground and ISIS and other terrorists are growing as they migrate from Pakistan. The terrorists want control of the poppy crop to take over the drug cartel business. Afghans need to provide their own food, electricity and irrigation water. Afghanistan accepted 1.1 million refugees and expect more from Pakistan and other countries.

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