Afghanistan’s situation is masked by the incessant violence in Iraq. However, the Parliament is packed with warlords, the drug trade is thriving, and violence is on the rise. During this week, world leaders will have the opportunity in London to steer developments. This agreement will be based on Bonn’s Conference 2001.
It is necessary a renewed attention to Afghanistan, for the country is in ruins and the world is suffering. Drug trade is a good example, since Afghanistan has become the world largest supplier of opiates and 25% of its GDP has resulted in drug trade. Security, too, remains a serious concern. Suicide attacks have multiplied and in 2005, 125 Coalition troops were killed. Corruption is rampant, several members of the Parliament are known as warlords, international aid is poorly coordinated and the United States reducing its troop strength, many Afghan believe that the international community has abandoned them.
Bonn process established the principle of democratic accountability, gave Afghanistan its first elected president and provided a new constitution. Today, there is a legitimate central government, a Parliament which over a quarter of the members are women and 20 000 local advisers. Aid development is based upon this structure. The polls have shown that the majority of the Afghans support this process.
At the London’s Conference, world leaders called for the anti-narcotics strategy, i.e. reducing economic dependence on opium production, punish traffickers and dealers, and provide feasible economic alternatives for farmers. On the other hand, London’s Conference should make efforts to assist the Afghan government to accomplish its goals regarding training and education of youth. Judicial reform is also a pressing issue, since today the Supreme Court is dominated by conservative factions and the judicial system allows local commanders to act with impunity. As long as this situation remains, investments will not be made. But reform is clearly possible. Last month, Afghan leaders finally adopted a transitional judicial program.
Failure to act will result in betraying the Afghan people who in 2001, welcomed the US army and NATO forces as liberators. Therefore, for their sake and ours, we must not let them down.

Jordan Times (Jordan)
Le Figaro (France)
Circulation: 350 000 copies. Property of Socpresse (founded by Robert Hersant, it is owned today by planes manufacturer Serge Dassault). This is the reference journal of the French right.
Korea Herald (South Korea)

Back to Afghanistan″, by George Soros, Jordan Times, February 1st, 2006.
La Conférence de Londres est l’occasion d’aider les Afghans″, Le Figaro, February 2, 2006.
Now back to Afghanistan ”, Korea Herald, February 2, 2006.