Afghanistan: A War That's Still Not Won

Discussion in 'Politics' started by KenH, Jun 27, 2008.

  1. KenH

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    May 18, 2002
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    "The lack of electricity throughout Afghanistan has been a source of constant frustration. Industries are forced to generate their own power, cutting into payrolls; this means they can't pay the kinds of salaries that could keep young men away from the Taliban or the opium trade. Without the Kajaki power station, southern Afghanistan cannot escape the quicksand of a drug-funded insurgency. "There are two or three things that can really change people's lives, and one of them is having electricity," says the U.N.'s Alexander. "Once work begins on a larger scale, it will show that this is really about improving the life of the people, and that's where we start to win."

    But so far, few in Helmand believe that the West is that committed; even engineer Baqi is skeptical. When the first turbine began to be rehabilitated in 2004, Shepherd provided him with spare parts and explained the importance of routine maintenance. A few years later, Shepherd, the project manager, noticed that the parts had gone unused. Baqi was hoarding materials, assuming that "at some point, we were going to leave, and that he would need these spare parts to keep the place running for the next 30 years," Shepherd says. Baqi has seen power change hands so many times that he knows its hold is tenuous. But until Afghans like him believe there can be lasting change, there won't be any."

    - rest at,8816,1818181,00.html

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