Global Security, October, 2008
By the fall of 2008, seven years after the fall of the Taliban regime, the future of Afghanistan's post-conflict transition looks more uncertain than ever. Driving this uncertainty is a security environment that has steadily deteriorated with each passing year, creating a level of instability even greater than in Iraq, according to some indicators. However, insecurity is not the only dilemma that has threatened to undercut Afghanistan's transition to peace and stability. Problems of corruption and poor service delivery in the state coupled with the failure of the internationally supported reconstruction process to improve the quality of life for so many Afghans trapped in grinding poverty has begun to erode public confidence in the new political order.
Exemplifying the negative consequences of a variety of inappropriate fiscal and social policies, Zimbabwe has failed to realize its potential to become a strong, independent state, going from the admiration and envy of its neighbours to near-complete collapse and abject poverty. Economic turmoil, caused by failed land reforms and inflation, combined with increased malnutrition, and evaporating access to education, health care and employment have only exacerbated unrest, particularly for constituencies who receive few benefits from President Robert Mugabe's regime. This paper assesses Zimbabwe's social, political and economic crisis and its impact on Zimbabweans, indicating the steps needed for national recovery and sustainable development.
This paper surveys Zimbabwe's economic crisis, and discusses some of the factors impeding the country's downfall. It concludes with recommended areas of focus for economic recovery.