Stability in Afghanistan has always been and will always be impossible to achieve, so long as Afghanistan remains the most corrupt country on earth, and so long as the nation's illicit drug trade continues to flourish unchecked. Longstanding conflict in Afghanistan has fostered an environment in which the interest of the nation's influential individuals tips more in favor of instability than in favor of creating a peaceful, stable country under the rule of law. Progress in securing the nation and defeating the Taliban insurgents will not win the counterinsurgency campaign alone. Dramatic political and economic reforms are required if the nation is to have a future after the withdrawal of ISAF troops and eventual reduction in foreign aid. Only permanent changes in behavior in the country can have permanent effects on the government, economy, and welfare of the population.
- Development Economics and the Counterinsurgency Strategy in Afghanistan