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Last Updated: Monday, 30 June, 2003, 15:43 GMT 16:43 UK
Afghanistan: Is the world doing enough?
Kamela, an Afghan refugee, waits for her family to be registered at a UN High Commissioner for Refugees camp in Kabul, Afghanistan
Dozens of aid agencies have warned that rampant insecurity is threatening Afghanistan's recovery.

In an open letter to the United Nations, eighty agencies ask for a broader mandate for Nato, saying the situation outside Kabul was so bad that nostalgia for the fundamentalist Taleban regime was mounting among civilians.

Nearly 12,000 US-led troops are still in the country hunting members of al-Qaeda and the Taleban while a separate UN-approved peacekeeping force patrols the Kabul region.

Do you think the world has done enough to help secure and rebuild the country? Should peacekeeping operations be expanded?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


The following comments reflect the balance of opinions we have received:

It's going to take time
Tom, Chicago, USA
Afghans can now listen to music and use the internet, men aren't forced to wear beards, women can actually live and breathe without fear of being executed in football stadiums, the country is getting mobile phone networks and modernising, there is an internationally recognised government in power that the world can do business with and relate to... the list goes on. Despite its understandable problems, the situation in Afghanistan is infinitely better than when the Taleban were in power. Anyone who thinks that decades of war and chaos would be magically reversed in a matter of a year is completely wrong. It's going to take time.
Tom, Chicago, USA

The US and UK have created a mess in Afghanistan by aligning themselves with militias, war-lords and war-criminals. Therefore, it is their responsibility to provide the security.
Abraham K, Toronto, Canada

Don't you think the world has done enough damage!!!
Ronan, Ireland

When the Russians were in Afghanistan there was stability, women worked, wore western style clothes and had equality. Kids went to school and there was an infrastructure. All this was destroyed by the Taleban and folks like Osama bin Laden trained and backed by you know who. The country has been devastated since and now the opium poppy is back into full production. I have to ask, as in Iraq, just what is this all trying to achieve? The people of that poor country must despair at the situation and rightly so.
Alan, Poland

No, the world isn't doing enough. The rest of the world relies on certain countries like the US and UK to do everything. The world wants social democracy as long as they don't have to foot the bill.
James, Kansas, USA

It is still not too late for the West to realise their responsibilities
Mahesh Chandra Somani, Finland
Peace and stability can never be restored in Afghanistan as long as terrorist forces are able to freely operate through the porous borders with its neighbouring countries, not to speak of the moral and financial support that they are able to generate from their sympathisers in these countries. There seems to be no effective mechanism by which the activities of these fundamentalist forces could be curtailed completely. In the absence of any proper aid or security, the ordinary Afghans have been left to struggle for their survival. All the same, it is still not too late for the West to realise their responsibilities, commitments and promises that they have made to the citizens of this impoverished nation during and after the war on terrorism.
Mahesh Chandra Somani, Finland

No the world isn't doing enough. The same way the EU isn't doing enough for the aid crisis in Africa. The only area the world is not short on, is an abundance of words, and criticism towards the US.
Mary Doyle, USA

As an American, one lesson I am taking away from this is to not interfere in anyone's country again, or support my government doing so. Though I have a soft heart, other countries need to stand up for themselves and get rid of regimes they don't want. Our interference destabilises and is worse in the long run. I feel for the Afghan people, they have many years of work to repair their nation, as it is obvious no-one else will do it.
Victoria, USA

Is it not time the countries in the Middle East did something positive and constructive too? Everything has been left to the West and to the UN to sort out.
L. McKintyre, Brunei

After World War 2, America devised the Marshall Plan which gave billions of dollars to Western Europe to rebuild to keep out communism. They need another such plan for Afghanistan to keep out extremism.
Hasan, Canada

The US should be ashamed of their actions and lack of it
Eric Hovius, Canada
When Canada contributes 1800 troops to become the largest foreign peacekeeping force, it is clear to say there is not enough international presence. Add to this, the fact that forty percent of Afghanistan is 'lawless' - the US should be ashamed of their actions (and lack of). I guess America knocks down the bowling pins and it's up to the rest of the world to pick them up.
Eric Hovius, Canada

More needs to be done. When some nations took the future of Afghanistan in their hands then they should give some results. It is about time people started to think that their actions have consequences. A lot more needs to be done for Afghanistan. A nation has to be salvaged and this has to be done now.
Altamash Hai Khan, Pakistan

George Bush and his cronies, have savagely bombed Afghanistan as America's retribution against the master minds of September 11, but tell me who is at the receiving end of it? It's none other than the thousands of forgotten innocent civilians who have lost their lives in most tragic manners? Everyone is affected by George's war; he came, he saw, he conquered and he left it in a mess, and then turned his attention to Iraq. Who is next on the Presidents Bush's list?

Afghanistan is in a complete turmoil and even the US supported government of Karzai has no say, where most of the country is still ruled by warlords, when will the war mongers stop to think and work for the betterment of this world? If this is the state of affairs in the world in I'm afraid to say that we will never know the meaning of Peace for many more years to come.
Roniqk, Lahore

World should not be the party held responsible for Afghanistan. In fact, American is the rightful party taking the majority responsibility of Afghanistan's recovery. Every bomb shells in Afghanistan have "Made in USA" mark on it. The same conditions apply to Iraq. USA should be responsible to all the recoveries since they are the one who attack the countries without an UN resolution.
Stephen, UK

The UN should help the Afghan military
Junrad, Philippines
The UN should help the Afghan military by fielding and mobilizing its peace keeping forces in the regions and dismantle/neutralize armed groups and bandits that are causing delays in the rebuilding of Afghanistan. If the world could risk fighting the Iraqis with supposed WMD, then why it can't with poorly equipped militias of Afghanistan.
Junrad, Philippines

Why should the world be responsible for the destruction done by American bombs? America and its allies did the damage, and they are the one who should do all the fixing.
Ndiwe Makonen, USA

Did US win the war against terrorists? Surely not! After two wars: in Afghanistan and Iraq the terrorist attacks are increasing! Afghanistan is a country without security that's why US needs more and more UN help. The role of world community should first be concentrating on the elementary needs not on a political one!
Nizar, Tunisia

I would ask everyone to remember the current state of affairs in Afghanistan, as the circumstances will be repeated in Iraq within the next 12 months.
Simon, Hong Kong

No, the world isn't doing enough. But attacking and over throwing an establishment that at least brought Law and Order to that society isn't how to help. Now the way things are now is the Afghan drug pushers and criminals are running lose again whereas before they were put in check by the Taliban regime. Some so-called liberation!!
Ajani, USA

Maybe the countries in the region should help Afghanistan. Countries like Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar should send aid and peacekeepers instead of a western presence in the country. The people of Afghanistan would like it more to have fellow Muslims in their midst rather than Americans.
Anthony Soprano, N.J, USA

Put people to work and you will see a total disappearance of extremism and terrorism
Hussein Jiwani, USA
The world and the USA are doing nothing to help in the rebuilding of Afghanistan. Construct new homes, roads, build the infrastructure and put people to work and you will see a total disappearance of extremism and terrorism.
Hussein Jiwani, USA

It's a shame! We have walked away from this country, that needs so much. It was promised a new beginning, but after Bush got the needed press, he relegated this poor country to fend for itself.
Bob, USA

We don't want more fighting in Afghanistan. We are in dire need of education for our population - that will help create a new homeland.
Amanullah Watan Dost, Afghanistan

If the free world pays a little more attention, Afghanistan has the capability to become an excellent pattern of a liberal, civilised country for the region.
Asef, Canada

Well, we know for certain that Afghanistan is an entity because it appears on the map. But it is anything but a nation. It is a failed state, just as it was before the US attacked. This is not rebuilding, it is more akin to creating a state from nothing. And that is going to be staggeringly difficult. The very same NGOs and human rights groups who suggest that nostalgia for the Taleban is growing can't countenance the fact that they maintained discipline through terror and violence.
Scott, USA

To abandon Afghanistan would be tragic
Marnie Smith, UK
Anyone who thinks Afghanistan is stabilising is naive. Yes, the Taleban have lost their overall control but imagine trying to keep law and order in a country four times the size of the UK. Meeting Afghan refugees in Pakistan I discovered that Afghans want peace, the ability to return to Afghanistan, and education, which is cited as a prerequisite. To abandon Afghanistan would be tragic.
Marnie Smith, UK

No, the world is doing nothing. Why was our country destroyed over the last 30 years, and by whom? I will tell you. Pakistan does not want peace in Afghanistan because this could mean that a stable Afghan Government may ask Pakistan for the return of Pushtonistan province.
Ali Khan, Afghanistan

If the world had done enough, there would not be a consistent threat to life, property, health and economy in Afghanistan.
Sami Ullah, Pakistan

Let America pay for the destruction it causes
Dora Brown, US
Why should the world do anything? Who created this latest fiasco? Who destroyed the dam, who destroyed whatever infrastructure was still there? Let America pay for the destruction it causes.
Dora Brown, United States

No, the world isn't doing anywhere near enough. Some people may say it's none of our business to interfere in other countries, but where do our obligations to fellow humans end? I pay a lot of tax to support lazy, ungrateful and uneducated yobs in my own country,I'd much rather that went to the people in Afghanistan.
John, Australia

Taleban brought peace and eradicated drugs
Nanga Pir, US
The misery of Afghanistan is due to the western intervention in the region. The West first misused the innocent Afghans to take revenge from Russians. Then the Taleban regime was toppled to discourage Islamic forces. Taleban brought peace and eradicated drugs. If the West would have let the Taleban run a natural evolutionary course then the Afghans would have been much better off today. Merely allowing few to drink and dance and grow poppy is not, by any standard, a positive change at all.
Nanga Pir, USA

Given the continuing mess in Afghan, we must say that the international community has not yet done well. However, we need to address several points in this matter. First, Afghans have to bear the responsibility for their own country. They need to show their strong will to rebuild the country. Second, it is almost impossible for outsiders to grasp the precise situation on the ground.Third, it is extremely difficult for a country, who has nothing to make money, to build a country. In this sense, without a strong will of the international community, Afghan cannot sustain herself.
F.Nakamura , Japan

The Afghan people have suffered more than enough
Gorazd Cvetic, Chile
The world has not done enough to secure the country. Without security, it cannot rebuild it either. As almost always, it boils down to the question of political will and money. The Afghan people have suffered more than enough. The peacekeeping operations should be expanded to all of the country now.
Gorazd Cvetic, Chile

It is just a matter of time before there is another mess in Afghanistan. The US Government has never addressed the real reason that brought about the Taleban. Islamic fundamentalists in Pakistan.
Peakpr, USA

It is indeed strange that this question is being asked after so long. Wasn't it obvious that this would happen when the US conveniently formed alliances with warlords possessing gross human rights violations records? Wasn't it obvious that this would happen from day one?
QJ, USA

The problem now is that it will be hard to find countries willing to put a lot of effort in rebuilding Afghanistan
Richard Osinga, The Netherlands
Before the war with Afghanistan I had doubts whether the US and its allies would be willing to help set up the country they were about to attack. After the fall of the Taleban the international community got off to a good start, I'd say, although it has been a clear choice from the onset to focus on Kabul and leave the rest of the country to the warlords.

The problem now is that it will be hard to find countries willing to put a lot of effort in rebuilding Afghanistan. Iraq is asking the attention of the world and peacekeeping forces are sent there, rather than to Afghanistan. By sending troops to Iraq you can hope to earn the appreciation of the US and win some contracts for your companies. What's to win in Afghanistan?
Richard Osinga, The Netherlands

War is about winning hearts and minds. If we want to achieve our policy objectives, it's essential that we win the peace. And win it well, to make it a shining example when we get involved elsewhere.
Michael Grazebrook, France (ex-UK)

The situation in Afghanistan is a continuation of the failure of western cultures to fully appreciate the cultures which have yet to evolve into true nationalism (nation states) in some countries. Democracy cannot be installed at gunpoint simply by removing "bad" or "evil" leadership. Nationalism and democracy evolves from the people. The present failure in Afghanistan is the result of "knee-jerk" US policy (lead by George Bush) which, like the many outside influences which have sought to govern Afghanistan, is doomed to the failure.
Chris, USA





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