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Afghanistan Policy Brief Draft

Afghanistan Policy Brief Draft - James Chen IR339 Policy...

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James Chen IR339 – Policy Brief With the current political situation, it seems that it is possible that the conflict in Iraq may  be de-escalated.  While it may be awhile before Iraq can begin the process of rebuilding or even  considered a post-conflict country, a nearby war-torn fledgling democracy is in the process of  reconstruction and recovery.  Analysis and studies on these processes in Afghanistan will lend  itself incredibly useful when peace finally arrives in Iraq.  The studies that have been done since  Afghanistan has stabilized have made it clear that environmental restoration must play a major  part in the reconstruction.  A statistic referenced often is that over 80 percent of Afghan people,  many of whom live in rural areas, heavily depend on the country’s basic resources like water,  trees, and wildlife for their survival.  However human resources and institutions are often early  victims of conflict and Afghanistan has suffered through almost a quarter century of warfare,  beginning with the Soviet invasion in the 1970s and continuing through civil wars, Taliban years,  and conflict remains with Operation Enduring Freedom. While the human toll has been horrific, Afghanistan's environment has also suffered  dramatically during the decades of conflict.  The management and conservation of the country’s  natural resources, including wetlands and their associated biodiversity, were not spared.  Forests have been cut down, grasslands have been depleted, soils are blowing away in the  winds, and wildlife is vanishing. This is partly a result of the conflict itself, both directly (e.g., 
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bombings) and indirectly (e.g., the millions of displaced people forced to find shelter, fuel wood, 
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