Archive for Afghanistan

NOLAN: If you look at a map of Afghanistan, you might notice the outline of the country is shaped something like a lamb chop. What would be the bone extends to the northeast until it reaches China, where the two countries share a 47 mile border. This narrow strip of land between Tajikistan and Pakistan–140 miles long but sometimes just 10 miles wide–reaches the end of the Himalayan range and is known as the Wakhan corridor. So why is it there?

SPOONER: in the 1870s the reason the British wanted to do this was in order to set up a buffer state between the British empire in south Asia and the Russian empire in central Asia because the Russians had kept moving south through central Asia and of course the British were concerned about their northwestern frontier because its the most vulnerable part of their empire in India.

NOLAN: That was Dr. Brian Spooner, professor of anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania and curator for Near Eastern ethnology at the Penn Museum. But why does this territory extend all the way to China?
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Since a Pentagon task force came out with a 2007 report claiming that Afghanistan possessed over a trillion dollars in untapped mineral resources, mining in Afghanistan has been a hot topic. In this report Jared Nolan examines the current state of mining operations in Afghanistan and what challenges and opportunities the future might hold.

This is part of War News Radio’s ongoing series on the state of the Afghan economy.

NOLAN: Jack Shroder has studied the mineral wealth of Afghanistan for a long time. It’s a recent story, though, that captures the current state of the country’s mining industry.

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HOST: Currently, foreign assistance supports all aspects of Afghan public service, from the police force to road infrastructure to farming. Unintended consequences often limit the effectiveness of these programs, but there is an alternative to the standard development model that results in waste, corruption, and conflict.

In the first segment of this series documenting the economy of Afghanistan and the measures required to sustain the Afghan state, War News Radio’s Jared Nolan examined the administration of foreign aid in Afghanistan and concluded that in many cases, the aid does just as much harm as good. In this part, Nolan focuses on a program practicing small-scale development at the community level.

NOLAN: You may never have heard of it, but the National Solidarity Program is the most successful development initiative in Afghanistan. And it’s not new; the project started back in 2003. Since then it has received over $1.5 billion in funding from international donors and reached all 34 of Afghanistan’s provinces and 25,000 communities countrywide. All told, the program has directly affected over 18 million Afghans out of the country’s population of 29 million. So what sets this program apart?


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This event has concluded. Come back for more of our coverage on the US troop drawdown in Afghanistan throughout the following days.

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Categories : Afghanistan, Top Story
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