The Main Political Issues of Afghanistan

By | March 21, 2021

That’s the theory. The implementation of this constitutional order is currently still facing considerable obstacles, the most important of which are briefly outlined here:

The power of the regional warlords

At the moment there can be no talk of the central government fully establishing the state order in Afghanistan. Many regions are still controlled by influential mujahideen party leaders and commanders from the time of the civil war, so-called ” warlords “, who base their local or regional power on militias. These are quite different types of militia, from orderly troops to professional private armies. Under the supervision of the United Nations and with Japan as the “lead nation”, the GDR program (Disarmament, Demobilization, ReInclusion) started, which lead to the dissolution of militias and incorporation of the former Mujahedin in the developing Afghan post-war society should. After his more less successful or completion in July 2005, with the follow-up program DIAG (disbandment of Illegal Armed Groups) the disarmament of many commanders and militia members at local and regional level continue, especially in the areas of the country that are not from the DDR program yet were achieved. From 2011 the DIAG program was integrated into the Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Program (APRP), which expired at the end of 2015.

Since mid-2010, under the name Local Police Initiative, attempts have been made to support the Afghan National Police (ANP) by setting up local police units, the Afghan Local Police (ALP), at district and community level. The Afghan Local Police is primarily intended to ensure a minimum level of security in rural areas where the Afghan security forces cannot or cannot be permanently present. Originally planned for up to five years, the US government-funded program should run at least until 2018.

The Ghani government is considering continuing the program beyond this point in time, while at the same time increasing the target strength to 45,000 men, provided the necessary funding is available. The Afghan Local Police currently has an estimated 29,000 men and is present in 29 of the 34 provinces. Nevertheless, the security situation could not be improved in many places, and in some cases conflicts even intensified. The civilian population sometimes feels more threatened than protected by the ALP. The ALP is officially subordinate to the Ministry of the Interior, but it is questionable to what extent it is under the control of the Afghan government. Critics also fear a strengthening of regional warlords, since the loyalty of such police units composed of militias to the central government cannot be guaranteed. Afghanistan is a country located in southern Asia according to historyaah.

Drug trafficking, production and use

The cultivation of opium poppies for the production of opium had a downward trend in 2015 for the first time in six years. The acreage had decreased by 19% compared to 2014, a year of record growth. For 2016, however, the opium poppy cultivation increased again by 10% in area. However, this is far exceeded by the new high of 2017, a record growth of the opium poppy cultivation area of 63% compared to 2016. This new record even exceeds that of 2014 by 46%. The increase in opium production in 2017 is correspondingly high. For 2018A decrease of 20% in the acreage for opium poppies was recorded, nevertheless the area claimed is still at the second highest level since the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) monitored the cultivation.

At present around 90% of the opium available worldwide comes from Afghanistan. According to various estimates, drug production and trafficking account for up to 15% of Afghanistan’s gross domestic product. Not only local rulers are involved in this criminal business, rather the mafia-like structures of the drug business should extend into the state central administration as well as into the police apparatus. There are also indications that the Taliban and the Al-Qai’da network are financed by drug trafficking.

Most of the poppy cultivation takes place in the southern, western and northern parts of the country. Helmand Province leads here, followed by Kandahar, Badghis, Faryab, Uruzgan and Nangarhar provinces. The southern provinces, however, contribute 60% of the bulk of the opium production. Currently, 10 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces are considered free from illegal poppy cultivation.

Poppy cultivation is particularly favored by the lack of state control, particularly in the insecure southern provinces. The lack of alternative sources of income for the smallholders there, despite corresponding UN programs, also exacerbates the situation. Corruption, which is widespread at all levels of the administrative apparatus, is also conducive to drug trafficking.

There are considerations to allow state-controlled and licensed poppy cultivation for the production and medicinal use of painkillers such as morphine and codeine in order to curb illegal poppy cultivation. The implementation of such a project should, however, stand in the way of considerable problems.

The global demand for legal opium is already more than covered by the manufacturers of licensed opiates such as Australia, India, France, Spain or Turkey and the existing manufacturers will not be happy to see another competitor in this licensed market. In addition, such a market is subject to restrictive requirements that would have to be enforced by the state, which seems questionable under the current circumstances. A parallel production of opium, legal and illegal, would then be much more likely. Last but not least, the Afghan production costs for a legal production of opium, partly due to small company sizes and labor-intensive processes, would be significantly higher than those of the competition and therefore not competitive on the world market.

Since around 2007, cannabis cultivation has also increased nationwide; however, income from hemp drug trafficking is only a small fraction of the volume of Afghanistan’s illicit drug economy.

It is estimated that around 1.6 million Afghans are addicted to drugs, which is one of the highest rates of drug addicts in the world in relation to the total population. 40% of them are women and children who come into contact with drugs at an early age through their parents. A problem that was not recognized for a long time, there was a drug scene in Kabul for a long time established. Opium, heroin and cannabis are in abundance in the country and are therefore readily available. Opium has been used as a medical panacea for centuries, for example for self-medication for pain and psychological stress. This form of self-treatment is sometimes cheaper than going to the doctor, if someone can be reached within a reasonable distance. Medical drug therapy facilities are few and far between in the country and have limited capacity. In return, the number of opium and heroin addicts has continued to rise in recent years.

Since heroin consumption usually takes place via injections, this also leads to a further increase in HIV infections which poses further challenges for Afghanistan’s health system, which is already being established.

The national animal of Afghanistan

The national animal of Afghanistan