Rays of hope in Afghanistan

The Asia Foundation is out with its 2006 survey of Afghan public opinion, and it's chock full of heartening findings. Eighty-seven percent of the public trusts the new Afghan National Army. Remarkably, a similar percentage trusts the oft-maligned and still ineffective national police force. Seventy-seven percent report that they are happy with the progress of Afghan democracy, and ...

By , a professor at Indiana University’s Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies.

The Asia Foundation is out with its 2006 survey of Afghan public opinion, and it's chock full of heartening findings. Eighty-seven percent of the public trusts the new Afghan National Army. Remarkably, a similar percentage trusts the oft-maligned and still ineffective national police force. Seventy-seven percent report that they are happy with the progress of Afghan democracy, and 54 percent feel more prosperous than under the Taliban.

The recent violence in the south of the country has generated a cloud of gloom about the mission in Afghanistan. This report should at least remind us that there's a lot of good worth fighting for there. And for all NATO's shortcomings and America's missteps, the world's liberal democracies are increasingly doing that fighting side by side.

The Asia Foundation is out with its 2006 survey of Afghan public opinion, and it's chock full of heartening findings. Eighty-seven percent of the public trusts the new Afghan National Army. Remarkably, a similar percentage trusts the oft-maligned and still ineffective national police force. Seventy-seven percent report that they are happy with the progress of Afghan democracy, and 54 percent feel more prosperous than under the Taliban.

The recent violence in the south of the country has generated a cloud of gloom about the mission in Afghanistan. This report should at least remind us that there's a lot of good worth fighting for there. And for all NATO's shortcomings and America's missteps, the world's liberal democracies are increasingly doing that fighting side by side.

David Bosco is a professor at Indiana University’s Hamilton Lugar School of Global and International Studies. He is the author of The Poseidon Project: The Struggle to Govern the World’s Oceans. Twitter: @multilateralist

More from Foreign Policy

A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.
A Panzerhaubitze 2000 tank howitzer fires during a mission in Ukraine’s Donetsk region.

Lessons for the Next War

Twelve experts weigh in on how to prevent, deter, and—if necessary—fight the next conflict.

An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
An illustration showing a torn Russian flag and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

It’s High Time to Prepare for Russia’s Collapse

Not planning for the possibility of disintegration betrays a dangerous lack of imagination.

An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.
An unexploded tail section of a cluster bomb is seen in Ukraine.

Turkey Is Sending Cold War-Era Cluster Bombs to Ukraine

The artillery-fired cluster munitions could be lethal to Russian troops—and Ukrainian civilians.

A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol  January 8, 2009 in Washington.
A joint session of Congress meets to count the Electoral College vote from the 2008 presidential election the House Chamber in the U.S. Capitol January 8, 2009 in Washington.

Congrats, You’re a Member of Congress. Now Listen Up.

Some brief foreign-policy advice for the newest members of the U.S. legislature.