Afghanistan's New President

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photoOn Tuesday, Hamid Karzai was sworn in as Afghanistan's first democratically elected president. In a solemn ceremony at the restored royal palace in Kabul, Hamid Karzai asked the international community for its support in fighting drugs and terrorism.

For some, the inauguration marked a giant step forward for a country once ruled by the Taliban: a true success story for the United States and the Muslim World. For others, Karzai at the helm does not solve the serious problems Afghanistan faces. Poppy production still fuels the Afghan economy and disputes among local warlords continue to threaten the country's nascent democracy.

Either way, Karzai now has the opportunity, and the daunting task, of building a government from scratch, lessening Afghanistan's dependence on drug money and excluding powerful warlords from government.

Tune in to hear about the road ahead for Karzai's first term as Afghanistan's president.


Victoria Burnett, reported on Hamid Karzai's inauguration for the Financial Times;

Sarah Chayes, worked on reconstruction in Kandahar, Afghanistan for the past three years, former NPR correspondent;

Larry Goodson, director and associate professor of Middle East Studies at the U.S. Army War College, author of Afghanistan's Endless War: State Failure, Regional Politics, and the Rise of the Taliban;

Thomas Gouttiere, Dean of International Studies at the University of Nebraska, served as Senior Political Affairs Officer for the United Nations in peace keeping mission to Afghanistan (1996-97);

John Sifton, head researcher on Afghanistan for Human Rights Watch, just returned from a three-month trip to Afghanistan.

This program aired on December 7, 2004.


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