CFC Afghanistan Review Newsletter, 07 February 2012

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<ul><li><p>8/2/2019 CFC Afghanistan Review Newsletter, 07 February 2012</p><p> 1/6</p><p>C I V I L - M I L I T A R Y F U S I O N C E N T R E </p><p>Comprehensive Information on Complex CrisesAfghanistan Review</p><p>07 February 2012Week 06</p><p>Economic Development</p><p>Governance &amp; Rule of Law</p><p>Security &amp; Force Protection</p><p>Social &amp; Strategic Infrastructure</p><p>The Civil-Military Fusion Centre(CFC) is an information andknowledge managementorganisation focused on improvingcivil-military interaction, facilitatinginformation sharing and enhancingsituational awareness through theCimicWeb portal and our weeklyand monthly publications.</p><p>CFC products are based upon andlink to open-source informationfrom a wide variety of organisations,research centres and media outlets.</p><p>However, the CFC does not endorseand cannot necessarily guaranteethe accuracy or objectivity of these</p><p>sources.</p><p>CFC publications areindependently produced by</p><p>Knowledge Managers and donot reflect NATO or ISAFpolicies or positions of any other</p><p>organisation.</p><p>The CFC is part of NATO AlliedCommand Operations.</p><p>For further information, contact:</p><p>Afghanistan Team</p><p>The Afghanistan</p><p>INSIDE THIS ISSUE</p><p>DISCLAIMER</p><p>CONTACT THE CFC</p><p>This document provides a weekly overview of developments in Afghanistan from 01 February 06</p><p>February 2012, with hyper-links to source material highlighted in blue and underlined in the text. For</p><p>more information on the topics below or other issues pertaining to events in Afghanistan, contact the</p><p>members of the Afghanistan Team, or visit our website</p><p>Economic Development Steven A. Zyck steve.zyck@cimicweb.orgfghanistans economy could face a serious downturn as foreign security and aid</p><p>spending dries up in the coming years, reports The New York Times. The World Bank</p><p>predicts that aid to Afghanistan by 2018 will be 10% of what it is today. One expert</p><p>told The New York Times that Afghanistan currently has a bubble economy which is in the</p><p>process of deflating, costing thousands of Afghans their jobs and livelihoods in the process.Many Afghans, including many who repatriated to Afghanistan after 2001, are preparing to</p><p>close their businesses, sell their property and depart the country. Productivity at local factories</p><p>is reportedly declining, and demand for foreign cars is plummeting. Property values, which</p><p>rose rapidly in recent years, are deflating. In addition, The New York Times says that the</p><p>Afghan government has had a hard time supporting national industries. Now that the Afghan</p><p>army is responsible for purchasing a portion of its own supplies, they have begun importing</p><p>cheap Chinese and Pakistani boots for its soldiers rather than buying them from their former</p><p>Afghan supply company.</p><p>Amid concerns about reduced foreign spending in Afghanistan, the United States Agency for</p><p>International Development (USAID) signed an agreement to provideUSD 800 millionto the</p><p>Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF), according to Tolo News. The funds are</p><p>intended to support agriculture, health, training and reconstruction. This grant is part of a move</p><p>by USAID to provide a significant amount of its aid to the Afghan government or through</p><p>funds, such as the ARTF, which support the governments operations and priority programmes</p><p>In the past, USAID has provided only 5% of its aid to the ARTF but is aiming to provide 35%</p><p>of its assistance through the fund in the future. This may have implications for the Afghan</p><p>economy, according to a 2009 report from Peace Dividend Trust (PDT). The report found tha</p><p>funds spent through the Afghan government were much more likely to benefit the loca</p><p>economythan funds spent through foreign companies and non-profit organisations.</p><p>A representative of Afghanistans Carpet Association told Tolo News that carpet production in</p><p>Afghanistan hasfallen by 70%over the past two years. The high cost of raw materials and the</p><p>lack of weaving facilities are cited as two major causes of the decline. While the Ministry of</p><p>Commerce and Industries (MoCI) says that it has built industrial parks with carpet production</p><p>A</p><p>To Our ReadersYou will note that this week the Afghanistan Review newsletter includes</p><p>four rather than six sections. The CFCs Afghanistan Team will now be divided amongst the</p><p>following sectors: Economic Development, Governance &amp; Rule of Law, Security &amp; Force</p><p>Protection and Social &amp; Strategic Infrastructure. Socio-cultural development issues will now be</p><p>addressed within this final sector given the inherent linkages between infrastructure (e.g.,</p><p>schools and clinics) and the services provided through them (e.g., education and healthcare).</p><p>Humanitarian topics will be addressed in special sections as humanitarian crises or issues</p><p>emerge. We hope that this approach will help to draw particular attention to such issues and</p><p>stories. This shift does not reflect a diminished commitment to either socio-cultural</p><p>development or humanitarian needs. Thank you for reading. The Afghanistan Team</p>$_Twice_Report_0709.pdf,,contentMDK:20152008~pagePK:141137~piPK:217854~theSitePK:305985,00.html,,contentMDK:20152008~pagePK:141137~piPK:217854~theSitePK:305985,00.html,,contentMDK:20152008~pagePK:141137~piPK:217854~theSitePK:305985,00.html;category=PDT%20Afghanistan;category=PDT%20Afghanistan;category=PDT%20Afghanistan$_Twice_Report_0709.pdf$_Twice_Report_0709.pdf$_Twice_Report_0709.pdf$_Twice_Report_0709.pdf$_Twice_Report_0709.pdf;category=PDT%20Afghanistan,,contentMDK:20152008~pagePK:141137~piPK:217854~theSitePK:305985,00.html</li><li><p>8/2/2019 CFC Afghanistan Review Newsletter, 07 February 2012</p><p> 2/6</p><p>07 February 2012 Page 2</p><p>facilities inNangarharandFaryabprovinces, Tolo News reportedly found that the Nangarhar facility had not yet been constructed</p><p>despite the fact that funding was allocated three years ago. In addition to domestic factors, the low value of the Pakistani rupee relative</p><p>to the afghani is also contributing to a downturn in the Afghan carpet industry. Pakistani traders had previously purchased Afghan</p><p>carpets but now do so less frequently given that, in rupee terms, Afghan carpets have become more expensive.</p><p>Several mining articles emerged this week. According toMining Weekly,Kilo</p><p>Goldmines, a Canadian firm that won the rights to one of the four blocks at</p><p>theHajigakiron ore deposit late last year,will soon complete related contract</p><p>negotiations with the Afghan government. Kilo plans to spend two years</p><p>exploring its blocks followed by a two-year feasibility study. Accordingly,</p><p>extraction at Kilos Hajigak block would not begin until 2016, which is onpar with the anticipated start date for a consortium of Indian companies which</p><p>won the rights to the other three blocks of the iron ore deposit in central</p><p>Afghanistan. Many of these same Indian firms are also planning to bid for the</p><p>rights to gold and copper deposits in four Afghan provinces, says Reuters.</p><p>The Afghan Ministry of Mines (MoM) has requested expressions of interest</p><p>from mining companies or consortia by 09 March.</p><p>Some truck drivers and business owners in Mazar-e Sharif told the Institute</p><p> for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR) that new pollution-control measures</p><p>have hindered their livelihoods. Authorities have forced brick kilns and other</p><p>factories to relocate out of the city centre, prevented trucks from driving in</p><p>the city during the day and impounded older, high-emissions cars. While</p><p>provincial officials indicate that these changes have reduced pollution and</p><p>improved the quality of life in the city, forced relocations have hurt somefactory owners and their employees, who must travel a greater distanceto</p><p>work. In addition, preventing trucks from entering the city during the day has made it more difficult for truck drivers and the</p><p>businesses they serve. Some indicate that the new regulations are selectively enforced and that those who pay bribes are allowed to</p><p>drive trucks in the city any time of day and operate factories in the city.</p><p>In regional news, a delegation from Afghanistans Ministry of Finance (MoF) participated ineconomic coordination meetingswith</p><p>their Iranian counterparts, says Khaama Press. The meetings yielded an agreement, with specific timelines attached, for promoting</p><p>future economic cooperation. Most notably, the two countries discussed the Chabahar port in Iran, which many Afghan businesses use</p><p>to import and export goods. The two countries agreed to assess customs issues and development of investments at the Chabahar</p><p>Port. The Afghan and Iranian officials also pledged to increase their bilateral trade and to prevent relations between the two countries</p><p>from being harmed by political relations with other nations.</p><p>Governance &amp; Rule of Law Stefanie Nijssen stefanie.nijssen@cimicweb.orgS Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said that the United States hopes to end its combat mission and shift to a training</p><p>advisory and assistance role in Afghanistan by mid-2013,more than a year earlierthan previously scheduled, TheWashington</p><p>Postreported. Panetta said that the United States would still be actively engaged in helping Afghan forces operate beyond tha</p><p>point in time. According to TheWashington Times, US intelligence and counterterrorism officials highlighted that, despite the end of</p><p>the combat mission in 2013, Americancombat forces will stayin Afghanistan until the end of 2014. They also reportedly noted tha</p><p>the US governments commitment to Afghanistan would continue long beyond 2013 and 2014.</p><p>Tolo News, citing NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, reported that NATO will stand by its previously agreed planto</p><p>wind down operations in Afghanistan by the end of 2014 and that any changes to the schedule would need to be coordinated among</p><p>coalition nations. Rasmussen toldRadio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) that he expects the lastprovinces to be handed overto</p><p>the Afghan security forces by mid-2013. From that time, Afghan security forces are in the lead all over Afghanistan. Details of the</p><p>transition will behigh on the agendafor the NATO Summit in Chicago, which will take place in May 2012, reports TheChicago Sun</p><p>Times.</p><p>The Financial Times is reporting that Afghan officials have urged the US government to stick to its previously-set timetable for</p><p>withdrawing its troops in 2014. We would like the American troops to leave according to the schedule which has already beenagreed, Sediq Sediqqi, a spokesman for Afghanistans Ministry of Interior (MoI), said.</p><p>A classified NATO report seen by BBC News claimed that the Taliban remains defiant and have wide support among the Afghan</p><p>people. The report is based on material from 27,000 interrogations with more than 4,000 captured Taliban, al-Qaeda and other</p><p>foreign fighters and civilians. Moreover, the BBCsays the document details widespread collaborationbetween the insurgents and</p><p>Afghan police and military. It also concludes that in the last year, there has been significant interest among Afghans, including</p><p>amongst members of the Afghan government, in joining the Taliban. It states the following: Afghan civilians frequently prefer</p><p>U</p><p>The New York Times reports that at least 22</p><p>children have diedin informal settlements around</p><p>Kabul due to the harsh winter conditions. All</p><p>were under the age of five. The article indicates</p><p>that the deaths draw renewed attention to the</p><p>basic humanitarian needs of many Afghans,</p><p>which some aid workers say have been</p><p>overlooked in an emphasis on reconstruction and</p><p>long-term development. For instance, Michael</p><p>Keating, the United Nations humanitarian</p><p>coordinator in Afghanistan, told The New York</p><p>Times, There are 35,000 people in those camps</p><p>in the middle of Kabul, with no heat or electricity</p><p>in the middle of winter; thats a humanitarian</p><p>crisis. I just dont think the humanitarian story is</p><p>sufficiently understood here. Youve got a lot of</p><p>people who really are in dire straits.</p><p>Humanitarian Update</p></li></ul>