FSI Score: 107.5
Overshadowed by the debate over NATO's military operations, the stories of a resurgent Taliban, and the West's perpetual consternation with local corruption, a humanitarian nightmare is unfolding in Afghanistan. Violence has been "metastasizing" throughout the country, in the words of FP contributor Anna Badkhen. Assaults and abuse of women have reached tragic proportions, despite U.S. promises a decade ago to liberate the country's other half. Child mortality rates are almost three times as high as they are in the rest of South Asia.
This complete lack of social well-being both contributes to Afghanistan's insecurity and is perpetuated by it -- a vicious cycle that 10 years of NATO operations has failed to end. Desperate communities are tempted to turn to the Taliban for protection, frontier justice, and even a wage; the resulting insurgent control keeps the state from being able to provide services or security in rural areas. Here, a member of the Afghan army guards a post in Kandahar that had been under siege for two days this May.
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