According to this report the growth of primary school enrollment in Afghanistan has risen from 1 million in 2001 to 10.5 million in 2013 with over 40 percent of those enrollment numbers being girls.
Has anyone heard this being reported or discussed on any major US news media source? We hear plenty about negative news out of Afghanistan when it happens, but should US Journalism attention give us more reporting so we can learn and know more about this type of positive statistics as they relate to our longstanding military engagement that has lasted over a decade. According to http://icasualties.org/OEF/ByMonth.aspx there has been one Hostile U.S. Casualty this month. The Total US combat fatalities will be lower this year than it was in 2008. The war is winding down. How many know that there have been some genuine successes achieved by the sacrifice of our troops?
There is no doubt that if you want to improve a country, Step one is to a) ensure that women are both educated and b) given control over their reproductive cycle. Both are necessary steps but aren’t enough in and of themselves.
Looks like 1a is underway in Afghanistan in a big way and should be applauded to the rafters. 1b may be trickier. Both may be under threat if (when?) the taliban reassert themselves.
I don’t actually hold out any great hope for the future and the country may be back to square one depressingly quickly.
1A is not the only positive news out of Afghanistan the past couple of years. Have you considered that 1A is happening because:
1A.a … there are now around 300,000 Afghan Army and Police in uniform and in the lead in all combat operations against the insurgency’s leadership and fighters. The Afghans themselves are taking the fight to the Taliban. Taliban leaders and fighters are being killed or captured just about every day in significant numbers and many are turning in their weapons and joining the peace process.
1A.b … in a recent Loya Jurga by Afghanistan’s elders they voted to keep US and other ISAF forces in Afghanistan beyond 2014 for continued training and backup in case the Taliban or al Qaeda could put together some kind of mass attack on Afghanistan’s security forces and overwhelm a particular area.
I have found no official military or government, ours or theirs, who accepts the forecast that the Taliban will get back to the year 2000 square-one that you have mentioned. I understand that that mood is most likely the most prevalent mood about the future of Afghanistan here in the states.
I would like to know if anyone in this forum believes that dreary mood is more the result of only negative reporting coming through to a tuned out public here in the US and secondly why is it that the news reports can only go toward the negative.
And yet another thought:
It seems to me that ten million kids in school with 40 percent of them being girls must mean that there are at a minimum of twenty million mothers, fathers, grandparents, uncles or other older siblings who are opposed to the 2000 status quo with the Taliban in dastardly control of their lives and children and are not willing to go back to it.
At the peak our CIA has never reported the Taliban had more than 50,000 fighters. Now they are fighting in opposition not to foreign fighters so much, the Taliban must fight Afghans… they must fight and kill and torment their fellow Islamic brothers and sisters to prevail. I just don’t see them beating those odds and that moral unreality of trying to win by Muslim killing Muslim.
And by the way, thanks for you input on this topic. For our troops still serving over there during these Holidays… I think it should be discussed more and by more Americans specifically. Those men and women have sacrificed a lot in a cause that is not in reality as futile as it seems.
I hope Obama makes a major point about Afghanistan’s increasingly better but with not without violence outlook for the future in this years State of the Union Address.
I just think that a lot of the progress that has been made had been under the close scrutiny of the western powers. When they leave I don’t think the Afghanistan infrastructure will persist and there will be an inevitable slide back to religious extremism and tribalism.
Of course if the west doesn’t leave then things may continue to improve but if that is the only way to sustain the gains then I don’t think we can claim victory in any meaningful way.
I do hope I’m wrong though.Certainly the education of women is a necessary requirement for a democratic society and may be an indicator of greater things to come. At this time of year it is comforting to think so.
Americans are tired of this war and want out. Period. It’s wonderful that some girls are now in school, but we have no assurances this will continue once the US leaves. If you want more reporting about Afghanistan, you’re going to get a LOT more bad than good.
Obama can say whatever he wants in his SotU address, but unless it’s about American troops coming home, I doubt anyone is going to care very much. Or, he might consider talking about this:
The “problem” isn’t that the media doesn’t report any good news from Afghanistan-- it doesn’t report much of ANY news unless it relates to US troops.
I think Malala Yousafzai got just a little news coverage. There have been big improvements in schooling for girls. There’s also a long way to go and people willing to kill to stop it, and we don’t know what’s going to happen next. It’s going to be a long slog at best and I see little cause to put a happy face on it.
I’d have thought it more apropos to concentrate on domestic issues like the fact of more black males being in prison than are enrolled in colleges and universities, but that obv. doesn’t have the same vibe to it; far better to focus on positive outcomes the empire benevolence is having around the world… right.
Okay: Yay! Never mind the father has been detained without trial indefinitely, or the cousin was tortured and now can’t sleep. Who cares that half the family is either dead or scattered to the winds when … more girls are at school!
The war isn’t winding down, we’re leaving. They are not the same thing. Total US combat fatalities in Vietnam were lower in 1972 than they were in 1965. That didn’t mean the war was winding down. Or to put it another way:
I am not trying to put a happy face on it. I’d like to put an educated sober face on it.
To say we don’t know what’s going to happen next is a bit of a cop out in my view since we never can really know what’s going to happen next on just about everything that involves the future. But we can make a fairly sound judgment based upon the past and very recent events and societal dynamics that actually are taking shape in that part of the world. I do not dispute that there is a long way to go, but the very basis of adding nine million kids from a total population of 40 to 50 million during the hardship that has been this war since 2001 increases the odds that we can predict a much better outcome than if it were the case that those number of boys in school remained constant and very few girls were getting educated at all.
All this (nine million more kids with 40% being girls being educated) is not occurring solely because of the ISAF military forces being present there for over a decade. The ISAF forces have never had the numbers even at its peak to turn out those kinds of numbers of kids getting to school. Their families have to want it. And secondly, attacks on students and specifically on girls going to school have not become alarmingly more prevalent if at all as the numbers of foreign troops continue to decline since that withdrawal process began over two years ago. One main reason that the withdrawal of foreign troops is not having a negative effect on Afghan girls being educated is because in the increase of Afghan military and police forces that have filled in the security gap left by withdrawing foreign troops.
I think it is indicative of a kind of laziness by those who have ‘given up’ on an Afghanistan outcome that may not be perfect by any means but is at least tenfold better than what existed there in 2000. I chose tenfold because that is close to how many kids are being educated with 40 percent of them now being girls.
That is ten times as many families living under the most tremendous hardships in who are risking more than we will ever know to put their children in a better place than they had over a decade ago. I don’t see how withdrawing foreign forces will destroy that will and that courage.
And the fact that I also brought up about the Loya Jirga voting to keep a foreign troop presence after the year 2014 is also very significant… because if 10,000 US Troops primarily in a training and backup role as Special Forces units needed as a reactionary force to any Taliban uprisings can guarantee gains such as so many kids attending school then that ten thousand will be well worth it and I believe acceptable to the majority of Americans.
What do you mean the War in Vietnam did not wind down? There is no war there now… Not that Afghanistan and Vietnam are comparable other than they fact that the both are wars where Americans were involved and there is killing and dying and all the happenings of war.