The Foreign Service Journal, July-August 2008

J U LY- A U G U S T 2 0 0 8 / F O R E I G N S E R V I C E J O U R N A L 23 ne of the poorest countries in the world outside sub-Saharan Africa, Afghanistan is a fail- ing state, though not yet a failed one. Nearly seven years after the U.S. military intervention to topple the Taliban regime and eliminate the al-Qaida terrorist network for which it provided a safe haven, Afghanistan is still enmeshed in a night- mare with no end in sight. The fragility of its political system and weakness of its economic structures render it espe- cially vulnerable to dire trends in the international market, such as the rising cost of food and fuel. F O C U S O N A F G H A N I S TA N S ALVAGING THE A FGHANISTAN V ENTURE T O RECOVER ITS INVESTMENT IN STABILIZING A FGHANISTAN , W ASHINGTON MUST FOCUS ON FOSTERING EFFECTIVE GOVERNANCE . B Y E DMUND M C W ILLIAMS O Nenad Jakesevic