Document Type

International Studies and Languages


Despite America’s lengthy nation-building project in Afghanistan, many Afghans still lack the basic resources and security necessary for a viable nation. Furthermore, the insecurity in Afghanistan is increasingly spilling over into their neighbors, stressing an already fragile region. While we in the West have largely forgotten Afghanistan, its neighbors look on with trepidation as they prepare for potential unrest. With vast amounts of natural resources and increased competition between the Russians and Chinese over the region, Afghanistan and its insecurity could lead to continued Central Asian economic and political stagnation. Despite the dangers in failure, inconsistent action and a destabilizing mission have plagued the U.S. Afghanistan mission for ten years. If the U.S. is going to continue to be involved in state building operations, a holistic plan that integrates cultural, political, military and economic policies must be implemented and dynamically updated to suit the prevailing conditions. While the road to a stable Afghanistan will be difficult, it is possible. Admitting defeat now will only create a more costly and chaotic future for Afghanistan and its neighbors that we may not be able to afford.