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Resolving the Afghan Conundrum

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l) Much has been made of the concept of Sharia law, which is basically a bunch of mullahs deciding what everyone else should do with their lives. I do not include this in the proposed government structure, as I believe it to be subject to extreme abuse. However, it is an idea that has gained traction in the Islamic world, and I think after four years of establishing the proposed government, a referendum could be held on adopting certain aspects of Sharia. Every four years this referendum can be offered, and if Sharia is, Allah forbid, approved then it itself would be subject to an affirming referendum every four years hence.

Funding this government is not cheap--probably around a billion dollars a year to set up and keep it operating. However, it offers a means for the allies to leave and be assured a relatively intact new nation is underway. And compared to the present expense of this open-ended war, it's a drop in the bucket. Probably an allied military presence will be required at least until Al Quaeda is neutralized and the Taliban insurgencies quieted. This will probably take years, but an effective federation with its own unique set of checks and balances will bring it to fruition much sooner than the current dysfunctional system. A generous infusion of economic aid aimed at developing the country's mineral resources,--which have been estimated at over $6 trillion,--with strong provisions that the general populace share in the wealth(not the case in most resource rich countries subject to foreign investment) will give a restive populace something to do besides hang out in madrassas learning how to practice mayhem on unbelievers.

This proposal is intended to be a template for a much more comprehensive effort to set this troubled nation on a course to stability and prosperity. It will take a certain amount of commitment from the allies to make it happen, but it can be done.

Afghanistan is a starkly beautiful country with tough, resourceful people who've been dealt a rough hand for too many centuries. There is no better opportunity than the current conflict to effect a remedy.

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Jeffrey MacKenzie is an architect who has an abiding interest in international affairs and in the peaceful resolution of conflicts. "I have come to realize the role money plays in forces that move nations. The growth model for international (more...)
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Resolving the Afghan Conundrum

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