What is state failure? See my conceptualisation of state failure on the right flank below.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Uruzgan News

MStFB Uruzgan Series update
I haven't covered that closely that what was going down in Uruzgan during the last week or so, so in reaction to all the letters complaining about that (just kidding), here's a short recap.
The crucial decision of the Netherlands on whether after mid-2008 they would keep the current number of troops, a reduced number of troops sufficient for maintaining a lead nation role, or a reduced number of troops insufficient for maintaining a lead nation role, in Uruzgan, or pull out their troops, of which options I think only the first two are to be taken into account realistically, was likely to come this month, but may possibly be postponed till even later, till the beginning of November, as indicated here.
Negotiations are underway to have enough replacement troops, should the Dutch withdraw any of their own.
Meanwhile violent incidents still occur with frequency, and an Australian Reconstruction Task Force soldier was killed by an IED on October 8 (two weeks before that three members of the Australian Special Forces Task Group were hurt in another IED attack).
Development plans, nevertheless, are going ahead. The recent instability around Deh Rawod notwithstanding, a road's construction is planned (as it has been planned before) from Tarin Kowt to Deh Rawod (and at a later stage on to Oshay).
In other news, I was glad to discover the Afghanwire's newsletter delivering me transcripts of some of the Dutch PRT's (fortnightly) Tarin Kowt* magazine's articles, and one of those was about the planned construction of madrassas, one for each of Uruzgan province's districts - a program financed by the United Arab Emirates, the costs expected to reach $ 900,000. Currently there's only one madrassa in Tarin Kowt, named Dar ul-Uloom, and it has some 120 students. (Such projects usually also have the aim of ensuring the local availability of a service that people would otherwise seek elsewhere, say, in Pakistan - e.g. it was reported earlier this year that the U.S. military is building large madrassas itself in Paktika province for the same reason.)
* Its title is written there as Tirin Kot, I believe.

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