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Preventing New Afghanistans: A Regional Strategy for Reconstruction

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Abstract:

Unless the international community pursues a regional strategy for rebuilding Afghanistan, the security of the Central Asian states and Pakistan will be so compromised that new terrorist groups with global reach soon will be using Eurasia as their launching pad again.

Arms, drugs, and seditious ideas from Afghanistan have severely undermined the region. To achieve stability, the antiterrorist coalition must disarm Afghan factions, impose an arms embargo, and destroy the country's poppy crop and its opium and heroin factories. Otherwise, militant Islamic groups across the region will use Afghanistan's drugs to finance their operations and its weapons to fight their wars.

Economic recovery is the essential antidote to radicalism. Macroeconomic reform in Uzbekistan is the key. Its instability would rock its neighbors, while success could spark the creation of free markets across the entire region.