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Post-war Aftermath in Afghanistan and Kuwait


Project: History of US Interventions

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February 2001

       10 years following Bush's liberation of Kuwait in the name of democracy, a CNN Correspondant notes that Kuwait is still as undemocratic as it always was. [CNN, 1/25/01] The CIA World Factbook describes the government type as a 'nominal constitutional monarchy' under which only 10% of the population (no females) are allowed to vote. [CIA World Factbook; Age, 2/28/03]

February 2003

       Bush's new budget fails to request any money for humanitarian and reconstruction funds for Afghanistan, despite Bush's repeated claims the US will not walk away from the Afghan people. Congress steps in to find nearly $300m - this pales however in comparison to the $10 billion the World Bank and UN estimate is required for reconstruction alone. [BBC, 2/13/2003; 3/5/2003; 3/17/2003]

Mar 2003

       The UN-funded anti-narcotics agency report says Afghanistan has again become the world's largest producer of opium with a significant upsurge in 2002 (3,400 tonnes up from 185 tonnes the previous year). Poppy cultivation in Afghanistan had significantly dropped until a US-led military coalition removed the hardline Islamic Taleban regime from power in its war on terrorism. The Taleban had imposed extremely harsh punishments on poppy growers - which accounted for the decline in opium. [Voice of America, 2/26/2003; 3/3/2003; 2/26/2003; 8/19/2002; Free Europe, 2/27/2002; 2/21/2002] Afghanistan looks set to repeat its bumper crop of poppies again this year. Farmers plant poppies instead of wheat as drug trade in the region continues to grow. [The Washington Post, 7/10/03; Post-Gazette, 7/13/2003; Today, 7/7/2003] Looking at things historically, Afghanistan opium production only gained international significance when, beginning in 1979, the CIA began financing the Mujahedden. Under CIA protection, the Mujaheddin made Afghanistan the world's largest supplier of heroin by 1981. The CIA's involvement in the drug trade ended with the civil war's end in '92, however the drugs continued, even after the Taliban overthrew the government in '96. It finally ended when the Taliban, under international pressure, banned the cultivation in 2000. This brought about a significant drop in the opium production, the only exception being the areas controlled by the Northern Alliance, whom the US then backed in overthrowing the Taliban. [Green Left, n.d.; van Solinge, 1998]
People and organizations involved: 2002 Annual International Narcotics Control Board Report1

October 2003

       Amnesty International reports, as Human Rights Watch had earlier revealed in July, that little has improved for the women of Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban - women are not protected by the criminal justice system, and forced marriages, rapes and domestic violence still occurring frequently. [Associated Press, 10/6/2003; International, 10/6/2003; Rights Watch, 7/2003; Guardian, 10/5/2003; Jazeera, 10/9/2003; Tribune, 10/6/2003]

March 2004

       The newly formed Afghan Human Rights Commission estimates that hundreds of Afghan woman are killing themselves through self-immolation (setting themselves on fire) to escape the cruelty they continue to suffer. [International Herald Tribune, 3/8/2004; 3/14/2004; York Times, 3/8/2004]

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