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Afghanistan  where empires go to die.

Mike Malloy – American radio broadcaster.


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Overview: Afghanistan

If the Afghanistan conflict could be measured in terms of ‘intent’ rather than ‘outcome’ then to the average Afghani, it was obvious that NATO, lead by the Obama administration simply wanted ‘out.’ Since taking office for his first term, President Obama had never looked comfortable when discussing the US military presence in Afghanistan. The Afghan campaign was, politically, seen through the unsatisfactory prism of the war in Iraq and its aftermath, all of which had proved a massive deception for the US electorate. The simplistic ‘Mission Accomplished’ gloating of the Bush administration had resulted in a disillusioned and wary Democratic Party. And in NATO, where the US leads, the others have little option but to follow......

....While the disengagement negotiations with NATO were gathering pace, another set of discussions were taking place. This time the players were not, however, from the North Atlantic. The Shanghai Co-operation Organisation (SCO) is hardly a household name in the Western world. The SCO was founded in 2001 in Shanghai by the leaders of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyszstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. With the exception of Uzbekistan, all the other countries had been members of the even less well known ‘Shanghai Five,’ a name which seemed to have more in common with Enid Blyton than with regional development. Well-known or not, the SCO’s six full members account for 60 per cent of the land mass of Eurasia and its total population is a quarter of humanity. Its press releases – issued in Russian and Chinese – claim that by 2007 the SCO had initiated over twenty large-scale projects related to transport, energy and telecommunications and held regular meetings to discuss security, military, defence, foreign affairs, economic, cultural and banking matters.

The more sensitive of US analysts had little difficulty in detecting a ‘Red Under the Bed’ scenario present in the SCO’s agenda, but had to acknowledge that there was considerable logic in a regional development grouping that could call on the resources – particularly the financial resources – of Afghanistan’s near neighbours. In mid June 2012 China undertook to provide US$10 billion to the SCO’s member states. 



Profile: Afghanistan 

In the space of 10 pages the Profile covers the following:

- Timeline

- Political structure

- Population,

- Education  

- Health

- Welfare

- Main cities

- Languages spoken

- Media

- Economy

- Agriculture

- Industry and manufacturing

- Tourism

- Mining,

- Hydrocarbons

- Energy

- Financial markets

- Banking and insurance

- Time

- Geography

- Climate

- Dress codes

- Entry requirements

- Health (for visitors)

- Hotels

- Credit cards

- Public holidays

- Working hours

- Telecommunications

- Electricity

- Social customs and useful tips

- Security

- Getting there

- Getting about

To purchase your copy of the World of Information Profile and Overview of Afghanistan: CLICK HERE



Key Facts

Key Facts:

Key Facts
Official name: The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Head of State: President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai (since 29 Sep 2014)
Head of government: Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah (National Coalition of Afghanistan) (since 29 Sep 2014)
Ruling party: Members of the national assembly are elected as independent candidates
Area: 647,497 square km
Population: 31.28 million (2014)* (some 1 million Afghanis are still in exile in Pakistan and Iran)
Capital: Kabul
Official language: Pashtu and Dari (named as official languages in the 2004 constitution)
Currency: Afghani (Af) = 100 puls
Exchange rate: Af64.21 per US$ (Sep 2015)
GDP per capita: US$649 (2014)*
GDP real growth: 1.53% (2014)*
GDP: US$20.31 billion (2014)*
Inflation: 4.61% (2014)*
Balance of trade: -US$8.52 billion (2013) (Aghanistan's highest export is opium, which is not included in the IMF export figure)
* estimated figure



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