Wednesday, February 26, 2003

# Posted 5:56 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

(KA)BULL MARKET: The WaPo has a nice article on entrepreneurs in Karzai's Afghanistan. Businesses of all sorts seem to be thriving, from hamburger joints to internet cafes.

What's missing in the article is any sense of whether this trend reflects more than the usual boomlet that follows the infusion of international aid (and American military spending). From Phnom Penh to Sarajevo, international aid has produced bubble economies that pop once the aid stops flowing.

The article also fails to give the reader any sense of whether Kabul's growth is reaching the countryside. In light of the fact that Kabul is the only town guarded by Western forces, I wouldn't be surprised if it also the only town with successful entrepreneurs. In some respects, the success of the economy may be the best indicators of whether Hamid Karzai remains the mayor of Kabul or becomes the president of a united, democratic Afghanistan.
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