Reporting out of Afghanistan is decidedly downbeat these days, intimating that the United States is entangled in an unwinnable war. The focus tends to be on what is not working in the country. This is perhaps understandable given that foreign correspondents often cover violence, death, and destruction in Afghanistan. But they aren’t seeing, for a variety of reasons, what is working.
The skewed content of news reports and commentaries is bolstering the Taliban’s anti-government war propaganda. It is also adding fuel to a political blame-game among key stakeholders, who must work together as partners to address Afghanistan’s multidimensional problems. For example, loud and public criticism of corruption within the Afghan government is counterproductive. It only pits the international community against Afghan leaders, preventing both sides from actually addressing the problem. The challenges posed by corruption must first be contextually defined, or else it will remain a buzzword -- used and abused by anyone wanting to vent frustration and shift blame to the Afghan government.
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