“It has been said that arguing against globalization is like arguing against the laws of gravity”, once said Kofi Annan who is the seventh secretary general of the United Nations. It is interesting to know that globalization has become such a powerful force today that it is compared to gravity. We hear about globalization quiet often these days, ever wondered what globalization has in store for Afghanistan, one of the popular countries on the news today and one of the poorest. This paper will focus on the findings of the affects of globalization in Afghanistan.
After doing some research on this topic I am surprised to find out that Afghanistan has been affected by the negative forces of globalization. Which according to the Political Counselor Ashraf Haidari stating in his speech on “Transnationalism: Its Impact on South Asian Economy and Politics”, that the negative forces include “transnational extremists, terrorists, and drug traffickers to further destroy Afghanistan and victimize its people” (The Embassy of Afghanistan, 2006). The reason that my initial instinct was a surprised reaction to this finding is because I did not know that these negative forces were a result of globalization, which till now I have perceived globalization as a positive and a beneficial force to many countries.
As we have witnessed China and India being among the winners of globalization due to their flourishing economies, Afghanistan is on the opposite side of the spectrum because there is a substantial amount of corruption involved in every corner of its governance. The leaders and the warlords of Afghanistan are benefitting from the opium trade in the illicit markets around the globe. According to the United States Agency for International Development's (USAID) Assessment of Corruption in Afghanistan, there has been stated that “ Thirty years of conflict that has weakened underdeveloped state institutions and the country's social fabric, Afghanistan's dominant role in worldwide opium and heroin production, and the tremendous size and diversity of international security, humanitarian and development assistance all increase Afghanistan's vulnerability to corruption” (USAID, 2009).
As globalization reduces inequality in many regions of the world, it also produces winners and losers of globalization. As many people benefit from this, we have to take into consideration that those who lose from this are the ones who live less than one dollar a day which undoubtedly globalization is not effective for them. According to a World Bank Policy Research Report called Globalization, Growth and Poverty it is stated that “Many poor countries with about 2 billion people have been left out of the process of globalization.” In addition the authors have stated some of the reasons for these countries to be left out are the fact that “geographically the countries landlocked and are prone to disease as well as by having weak policies, institution and governance and civil wars”. They also state that “much of the concern about globalization involves issues of power, culture, and the environment” (Collier & Dollar, page 2, Yr: 2002).
Another author, Carol Riphenburg, in the journal from Third Quarterly claims that “Afghanistan is out of the globalization mainstream” (Riphenburg, 2006). She follows stating that, “Afghanistan ranks low on all three indicators of political capacity: extractive capability, institutional credibility, and transparency.” And that is why Afghanistan falls out of the globalization mainstream due to those factors. (Riphenburg, 2006)
For the rest of the world globalization includes the internet, cell phones and the latest gadget communications on the daily basis. And for Afghanistan, although not to underestimate that internet and cell phones also have made their way to some of the larger cities of Afghanistan such as Kabul, Mazare-Sharif and Herat, it is still far away from being part of their daily lives.