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Looking Ahead to a Post-Taliban Afghanistan

Looking Ahead to a Post-Taliban Afghanistan

The U.S. and its allies are looking ahead to a post-Taliban Afghanistan. For over twenty years, Afghanistan has been wracked by armed conflict. While the competing factions have fought each other, the Afghan people have suffered enormously. Source: Washington File (EUR516), U.S. Department of State, Washington D.C., October 12, 2001.

Fact Sheet: U.S. Policy Statements on Post-Taliban Afghanistan issued by State's Office of International Information Programs. (begin fact sheet)

The U.S. recognizes no faction as the rulers of Afghanistan. The U.S. is not engaged in "nation building." The U.S. is, however, clearing the way for Afghans to do their own nation building. Only Afghans can build their nation, and establish a broad-based government. Only Afghans can bring their country back into the community of nations and rebuild their future. The U.S. purpose is to help make it possible for them to do that.

The U.S. has said that Afghanistan needs a broad-based government, and that when they form such a government, the U.S. will help with the process of reconstruction and development.

Here is what U.S. officials have said in recent days about a post-Taliban Afghanistan

President Bush (October 11, 2001): "One of the things we've got to make sure of is that all parties, all interested parties, have an opportunity to be part of a new government.... We shouldn't play favorites between one group or another within Afghanistan."

"Secondly we've got to work for a stable Afghanistan so that her neighbors don't fear terrorist activity again coming out of that country. Third, it would be helpful, of course, to eradicate narco-trafficking out of Afghanistan, as well."

"I believe that the United Nations would - could provide the framework necessary to help meet those conditions. It would be a useful function for the United Nations to take over the so-called 'nation-building,' - I would call it the stabilization of a future government - after our military mission is complete."

Secretary of State Colin Powell (Oct. 10, 2001): "We want to see eventually arise in Afghanistan a government that represents all the people of Afghanistan, that is prepared to take care of the needs of its people, not to repress its people. And so we are in touch with all of the different factions to start to see how such a government could arise if the Taliban were to collapse and go out of power.... We are also working closely with the United Nations. The United Nations might well have to play a very, very important role in a post-Taliban world."

"We are keeping in touch with all the parties to make sure we have them all moving in the right direction and beginning to cooperate with each other more than they have in the past."

Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld (October 11, 2001): "We're in the business of rooting out terrorists and creating a very high cost for those who decide they think it's in their interest to harbor terrorists. The Afghan people are going to have to sort out which among the opposition groups will have what role in a post-Taliban Afghanistan."

State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher (October 11, 2001): "We do believe that Afghanistan needs a broad-based government. We have been working for many years with the UN and others on that. We have been keeping in touch with all the various parties. And we have made quite clear that were there to be such a broad-based government in Afghanistan, we would intend to help that government with reconstruction, with developing the country."

(end fact sheet)


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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).