Мой первый журнал ISRS-Journal-АНГЛ - Page 43

NARROWING UNITED STATES CONCEPTUAL OPPORTUNITIES IN AFGHANISTAN: INDICATORS AND SCENARIOS Rustam Makhmudov, Independent expert The Afghan conflict is currently in a state of dynamic development at many levels, ranging from hostilities to a fine geopolitical game that has unfolded between the leading global and regional actors, which is still very far from reaching a win-win situation. Assessments of the experts about what is happening in the country seriously differ from one another. According to some, the situation went into a general conceptual crisis, but according to other estimates, the conceptual crisis concerns only the “US-official Kabul” bundle, while for the Taliban, Russia, China, Iran, Pakistan, the situation is seen as an open field of opportunity to implement their own tactical and strategic plans and interests. Socio-economic and political-military groups If we take the second group of assessments as a starting point, then the question arises how true is the assertion about the conceptual impasse in which the linkage ended up between “US-official Kabul”. The answer to it, it seems, lies in the analysis of the situation with the effectiveness of this group of two key challenges for the Afghan crisis - socio-economic and military-political. Regarding the group of socio-economic challenges, we can immediately say that the responses from the United States and Kabul were partial and, first of all, because they did not create a full-fledged economic basis that would lead Afghanistan to a path of sustainable growth and high self-sufficiency in a number of basic sectors. According to statistics, the United States, before reducing its military presence in 2014, poured 103.8 billion dollars financial aid to Afghanistan, which exceeded the amount of aid under the Marshall Plan for restoring Europe after the Second World War (102.97 billion dollars 1 ). However, the return on the billions spent was relatively low, as confirmed by at least four of the following indicators: 1. The ratio of exports and imports. According to the World Bank (WB), in 2016, Afghan imports exceeded exports by almost 11 times. Afghanistan imported various goods for $ 6.534 billion, and exported only for $ 0.596 billion 2 . 2. Structure of export and import. Afghan exports mainly consist of agricultural products, minerals, various types of raw materials, carpets, skins and leather, i.e. industrial products are not represented in exports, which is one of the key indicators for evaluating the effectiveness of economic reforms 3 . At the same time, imports, due to the weakness of the national industry, are represented by a wide range of goods and products, ranging from consumer and food products to fuel, metals, chemicals, machinery, and electricity. 3. Damage to the economy resulted from the withdrawal of most of the foreign troops. According to Afghan and international data, the withdrawal of troops in 2014 led to a sharp drop in GDP growth rates from an average of 6.9% in the period 2007-2012 up to 1.3% in 2014. The transport sector suffered the most, forming about 22% of GDP, 100 thousand jobs were lost. Due to the reduction in orders from the American army, the construction sector and the services sector, which accounted for 40% of GDP 4 , were also severely affected. Расходы США на программы по восстановлению Афганистана превысили размеры плана Маршалла. 1 августа 2014. https://tass.ru/mezhdunarodnaya-panorama/1354583 2 Afghanistan trade statistics. https://wits.worldbank.org/CountryProfile/en/AFG 3 Afghanistan Product exports and imports 2016. https://wits.worldbank.org/CountryProfile/en/Country/AFG/Year/LTST/TradeFlow/EXPIMP/Partner/WLD/Product/All-Groups 4 Afghanistan’s surprisingly predictable economic crash. http://www.irinnews.org/analysis/2016/03/14/afghanistan%E2%80%99s- surprisingly-predictable-economic-crash 45 1