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February 12, 2015

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"Bit like certain less prosperous parts of Wales, than. Although, tbh that's a bit unfair as in certain parts of Wales it's more like an average of 60 applications for every job vacancy;)"

I agree K, its even higher in some places. Especially for low skilled jobs where there is a compunction for the unemployed to apply for so many jobs every week. Having been there I can say that is not reasonable.

There is a difference though (between Wales and Kunar). A large part of the Afghan population (through experience) hate the central government and all it represents.

K

"“In percentage terms, some 80 per cent may be unemployed,” he said, noting that for every vacancy in his own department, there were 30 or 40 applications.'"

Bit like certain less prosperous parts of Wales, than. Although, tbh that's a bit unfair as in certain parts of Wales it's more like an average of 60 applications for every job vacancy;)

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It would seem logically that the writing is on the wall in terms of the outcome. There were record high numbers of civilian casualties in 2014 and indications that deaths among combatants have also spiked.

As for claims about life expectancy going up, they have apparently been going up since the 1960s. The 'CIA World Factbook' report that the figure is around 50 years.

The same source also says Afghanistan is number one in the world for infant mortality.

Money is still going to be poured in and around 13,000 American troops will remain, as will hundreds of British troops. This is seen as unacceptable by the Taliban who have refused to negotiate whilst under foreign occupation.

The NY Times has reported that information about the American backed Afghan security forces will now be classified:

'Under the new classification guidelines, the military is not publicly reporting how many Afghan policemen and soldiers are employed, how much Washington is spending on their salaries, the state of corruption in Afghan ministries or the results of an effort to recruit more women in the army.'

There is a lack of security and authority from the central government. There are dozens of militias all acting in their own interests. So the country is very fragile. High unemployment makes joining the Taliban or the miltias an enticing prospect for many. Education MAY be seeing improvement but there are a lack of jobs at the end of it.

'In Kunar in eastern Afghanistan, Shafiqullah Wiyar, head of the provincial labour and social affairs department, said the situation there was particularly dire.

“In percentage terms, some 80 per cent may be unemployed,” he said, noting that for every vacancy in his own department, there were 30 or 40 applications.'

http://reliefweb.int/report/afghanistan/afghan-militants-find-unemployed-make-easy-recruits

On the Helmand invasion Adam Curtis in his new documentary, Bitter Lake, has an interesting take that you should watch, Paul.

He argues that a lot of the fighting was from ordinary Afghans who saw the British occupation of their province as support for the corrupt and abusive central government. The British in turn believed anybody who fired a shot at them were "Taliban fighters". The British response (heavy bombardment) made the situation worse. The Taliban then seized the opportunity and started flooding into the area from Pakistan.

The relevant bit about the Helmand invasion is from 1:57

http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p02gyz6b/adam-curtis-bitter-lake

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