Leadership Council for Human Rights

~ Feet in the mud, head in the sky ~

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Afghanistan's Progress

March 9, 2006
Washington D.C. - The House International Relations Committee met Thursday to discuss progress and problems in Afghanistan.

Chairs Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Dana Rohrabacher opened up the panel to discuss improvements in Afghanistan since 9-11. Panelists included Rear Admiral Robert T. Moeller, USN Director, Plans and Policy U.S. Central Command; James Kunder, Assistant Administrator for Asia and the Near East; Maureen Quinn, Ambassador and coordinator for Afghanistan; Thomas Schweich, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, Department of State; Barnett Rubin, director of studies and senior fellow, Center on International Cooperation New York University.

Topics discussed included the issue of narcotics (90 percent of the global supply of opiates comes from Afghanistan), terrorism, and human rights violations. The recent push for more police has helped, but there is a need for tight border security, an effort which requires donors’ aid money.

Those present agreed that an aid effectiveness plan is needed. At the end of the fiscal year, the U.S. will have spent $10.3 billion on Afghanistan. Afghanistan has many donors willing to help it, but the countries’ money must go to the right place and be distributed with quickly and effectively.

The most progress within Afghanistan has been in advances in education. There was an increase of schools being built which should benefit the next generation, especially due to the fact that many see education as a key toward democracy.

Kunder described four focuses of continued assistance: sustainable economic growth, expanding the economy through investment in infrastructure, creating democratic systems and citizen participation, and education and health.


Post a Comment

<< Home