Remember Afghanistan? From 2006 to 2011, while Canadian troops in Kandahar were fighting Taliban insurgents, Afghanistan dominated debate about Canadian foreign and defence policy. In the years since, the political and security problems of the troubled Central Asian crossroads have mattered less directly to Canadians.
When - or if - completed, a new natural gas pipeline would carry 33 billion cubic metres of gas from Turkmenistan through three South Asian countries.
Pakistan and India would each purchase 42 percent of the gas; the remaining 6 percent would go to Afghanistan. Afghanistan would receive about $400 million per year in transit fees, equal to about 25 percent of the state's total domestic revenue in 2015.
Cultural, diplomatic, and economic exchange has proliferated between India and the Middle East since ancient times. This engagement has continued into the modern era. India has maintained a strong relationship with Egypt, particularly since both countries became the founders of the Non-Aligned Movement during the Cold War. India also maintains bilateral relations with Iraq, Iran, Syria, and the Gulf states, dating back to when the area was known as the Fertile Crescent and when the Arab spice trade dominated the region.
World Peace is a noble goal, but not one that can occur in one move. "Building States to Build Peace: A Project of the International Peace Institute" explains that World Peace starts at a national level. Like many things when they first begin, the early years of a state are vital for establishing it for stability and enduring peace. Covering topics such as law, economics, and finance, it also outlines examples ranging from Somalia to Afghanistan.
During 2007-2008, raw opium production in Afghanistan reached a record level of an estimated 8,200 tons. In the same period, the Taliban-led insurgency supported by al-Qaida spread to new areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Both countries experienced unprecedented levels of terrorism aswell. After six years of international assistance to the Afghan government, the expansion of both the illicit narcotics industry and the insurgency constitutes a powerful indictment of international policy and capacity.
Given the dramatic loss of life, the fallout in terms of refugees and other serious problems, and the attacks that deadly conflict inflicts on our fundamental values, preventing such conflict and the disorder it sows should be a much higher priority for the United States, other governments, international organizations, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs).