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Afghanistan: Western Interest Wanes36:17
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photoFor the most part, Al Qaeda has been rooted out of Afghanistan. The Loya Jirga signaled the start of a new Afghan government. The Afghan people have been free of the Taliban for over six months. All signs point to a new Afghanistan, well on its way down the road of reconstruction.

Or is it? Al Qaeda may be out of the way, but infighting between ethnic Afghan warlords is still a significant problem. The nation's infrastructure is in shambles. The Afghan government feels the constant threat of political and military insecurity. This is not yet a "post-conflict society", as those who move in political circles like to say. Afghanistan is still a conflicted country, and tonight's guests say that it needs international assistance now more than ever.

The Afghan people want the U.S.-led coalition to make a serious, long-term commitment to rebuilding the country. The U.S. wants a stable Afghanistan, and a stable Central Asia. It seems that what's best for Afghanistan is what's best for America. So why is there the creeping feeling that Washington won't do what it takes to help put Afghanistan back on solid ground?

This hour, On Point: Waning Western interest in Afghanistan. Should the U.S. become the world's premier nation builder?

Guests:

Rina Amiri ~ UNESCO advisor, member of the Afghan Women's Network and advisor to the Ministry of Women's Affairs

Thomas Gouttierre ~ Dean of International Studies and Programs and Director of the Center for Afghanistan Studies at the University of Nebraska-Omaha

Jack Beatty ~ On Point News Analyst and Senior Editor at the Atlantic Monthly Magazine

This program aired on July 29, 2002.

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