L-R: Barnett R. Rubin, Gayle Smith, Mark Schneider, and Paula R. Newberg discuss the extent to which warlordism and a burgeoning drug trade has had an impact on prospects for security, democracy, and the rule of law.
The Countdown to Afghanistan’s Election: Security, Narco-Terrorism and Prospects for Democracy
October 7, 2004
As Afghanistan holds its presidential election on October 9, growing instability, terrorism, and an opium industry spiraling out of control threaten the prospects for security, democracy and the rule of law. The panel will explore each of these interrelated topics, examining the nature of the opium industry; security threats from warlords, the Taliban and al Qaeda; and prospects for a free and fair election. The panel will also discuss the many challenges that remain for the new president, the Afghan people and the international community.
|Gayle Smith, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress, “In the eyes of many the elections on Saturday are a pivotal event…I think the message is that this will consolidate Afghanistan’s gain and move it fully into the future. “||Paula R. Newberg, Guest Scholar, The Brookings Institution, “Whoever the president is will have to be able to prove to citizens of Afghanistan that he or she is not going to use his authority to determine who wins future elections.?|
|Barnett R. Rubin, Director of Studies/Senior Fellow, Center on International Cooperation, “We have started to recognize the problem, but our strategy is wrong…If drugs are a third to a half of the total economy, there is no such thing as counter narcotics policy. All of your policy has to be integrated to deal with the problem of drugs.”||Mark Schneider, Senior Vice President, International Crisis Group, “Today the Afghan people are not free from fear. They are not free from want. They are not free from mines. They are not free from the threat of Taliban and Al Qaeda assaults or attacks and they are not free from warlord intimidation or the threat of their country becoming a narco-state.”|