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Discuss the impact of the Afghanistan conflict on the economy, society, political and environment.

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Introduction

Discuss the impact of the Afghanistan conflict on the economy, society, political and environment. Afghanistan War is an international conflict in Afghanistan. It is a military invasion of Afghanistan that was launched by the U.S. and the U.K. in October of 2001, largely in response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks and with the intent of removing the Taliban regime from power. The conflict is still ongoing, with a possibility the NATO troops will withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014. Afghanistan has some of the most rugged terrain, inhospitable mountainous landscape in the world. More than 50% of the total land area lies above 6,500 ft. (2,000 m). It all ends in the high peaks of the Hindu Kush, where extensions of the Pamir Mountains, Karakorum Mountains and the Himalayas all come together. In the north, the landscape is primarily covered with farms. The desert with scattered salt flats occupies the southern landscape. Plants and wildlife in desert and mountain systems are adapted to the rigors of these habitats. However, the harsh conditions make these systems especially fragile and put them at risk from sudden changes, and both deserts and mountains are notoriously slow in recovering from damage. Afghanistan once consisted of major forests watered by monsoons. During the Civil war, members of the Taliban illegally traded timber in Pakistan, destroying much of the forest cover. ...read more.

Middle

The life expectancy for the average Afghan has dropped significantly to 44. The war has lowered people's life expectancies as the death rate and life expectancy rates highlight. During the Taliban rule, the role of women was domestic and had little rights. Women could not be educated or enter employment and those who defied the Taliban were punished extremely, with some women being publically executed. However after the Taliban's fall from power, women's rights have increased with women returning to education and employment. Education has greatly improved in Afghanistan since 2001, where more than 5.4 million children returned to school with nearly 35% of them girls. However it is still estimated 11 million Afghans are still illiterate. Many schools lack funding so have poor facilities and the number of qualified teachers is low and cultural bias that many Afghans have against educating women still needs to be overcome. Since the invasion of 2001 the economy of Afghanistan has improved significantly due to a mixture of billions of US dollars in international assistance and investments. It is also due to dramatic improvements in agricultural production and the end of a four-year drought in most of the country. However, Afghanistan still remains one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world that is highly dependent on foreign aid. The Afghan economy is significantly dependent on agriculture as most of the land is cultivated. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another impact is the loss of vital workers which deters development and progress of the country. After the invasion, the Taliban was removed from power and a democratic government was set up with free elections to elect the President. There were two elections, where both women and men voted and Karzai was elected President, showing democracy was established and working. However it was soon emerged the elections were fixed and the new government was corrupt, weakening the new system of Government. It also encouraged many Afghans to align themselves with the Taliban who were seen as a more stable government. NATO forces are trying to strengthen the fragile democracy in Afghanistan by holding international conferences. Furthermore after the Taliban regime came to an end in Afghanistan, members were pushed into Pakistan, where the gained support of northern Pakistan. Their control spread over the country till they were only an hour from Islamabad. The Taliban's presence destabilised Pakistan, and the army pushed them back northwards to the Hindu Kush Mountains. In conclusion the Afghanistan conflict has had both a positive and negative impact on Afghanistan and the people. The conflict has ended the Taliban rule which meant many Afghans benefitted as they were free from persecution. The education, economy, political and social impacts have generally improved. However there are some drawbacks such as the Government being corrupt and rigged elections and its extreme reliance on Aid. ...read more.

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