Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Why is Afghanistan unstable?

In his recent Newyorker article Barnett Rubin discusses Why Afghanistan still unstable? and argues that stabilising it was not the goal of U.S. policy:

I have thought of a good method of approaching this, imagine a couple of scenarios: 

Scenario A. 
1. create professional army, starting off with the remnants of DPA armed forces.
2. Economic development 
3. Integrate Afghanistan into international political and economic system. 
4. Foster national leadership. 
5. collect weapons.

Scenario B

1. Arm and fund militia with history of human rights abuse and atrocities to fight dissent by labelling it the Taliban. it was only this year that the US recognised Taliban as a political group and conceded to a political instead of military solution. 
2. AID, AID and AID which only delivers assistance to very few and leaves out the majority to fend for themselves. Treating the symptom of poverty while ignoring the fragile state which is the real cause.
3. No significant trade treaty and no long term strategic partnership; relationship at its low of all time with neighbours. 
4. Warlords, drug lords and criminals were promoted by giving them a share in ruling the country. 

you guessed it right, it was the second that unfolded. 

sure the lack of Afghan leadership had its devastating impact and of course the dysfunctions of Afghan culture rendered it unable to take advantage of international presence and certainly the lack of Afghan human capital and skills was not conducive to the occasional efforts of US at state building. but if you are studying the role of the US as the most significant player in Afghanistan then you need to look at its policies, conduct and practices. This is escaping people today and it is significant because we need to recognise the responsibility of the US in what is happening in Afghanistan today. we also need to understand the underpinning reasons for the choices organisations and politicians make and the assumptions they had made.  

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Cracking down on migrants

David Cameron unveiled new restrictions on non-EU migration coming to the UK last week. It includes restricting work visas to skill shortages and specialists’ jobs, higher visa fees and increased salary threshold for the visa to be granted.

As a tier 1 visa holder I don’t believe these measures address the real problem. The current system restricts civil liberties; under the visa mandate professional, social and family life of migrants are regulated in a utilitarian manner. The system determines what the skilled migrant should be doing, when and how the business should be managed; the Home Office and the Police monitor professional and personal life respectively.

The system envisions only an economic role for skilled migrants, which is incidentally also viewed as criteria for civic participation and a desirable virtue for natives. but despite meeting the definition of community invested citizenry, skilled migrants are not considered part of the society as such limiting their civic rights including political and economic rights. 

Changing the immigration system for new migrants does not address the current situation. People who are invested in the UK need to be integrated into the society. The current system imposes an identity on migrants defining them in terms other than members of the community. The immigration system is creating and feeding stereotypes; in the long term such policies serve xenophobia and racism.