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On February 23, 2018, Turkmenistan announced the commencement of construction work on the Afghan section of an $8 billion natural gas pipeline that will link the energy-rich Central Asian nation to Pakistan and India. The work on the Turkmenistan section of the project has been completed.
What mining does occur in Afghanistan is mostly carried out on a small to medium scale, according to William Byrd, an economist at the U.S. Institute of Peace. Much of this mining is illicit and robs the Afghan government of critical revenue. “It tends to empower power brokers, politically connected people, and in some places insurgents,” Byrd, the former country manager for Afghanistan at the World Bank, told FP.
For the rest, resources have been prey to what William Byrd, a development economist with the United States Institute of Peace, has dubbed "industrial-scale looting".
"Obviously it's something Afghanistan should be doing. It's crazy to be importing cement over long distances," said William Byrd, a development economist with the United States Institute of Peace in Washington.
Afghanistan’s economic collapse was sudden, surprising, and entirely predictable.
Afghanistan's budget revenue increased almost 22 percent in 2015, a report by the United States Institute for Peace said, an encouraging turnaround for a cash-strapped government that remains heavily reliant on foreign aid.
What Can Be Done to Revive Afghanistan’s Economy? That’s the title of William Byrd’s report published this week by the United States Institute of Peace. The answers are predictably complex, but the first and most important step is simple: the government must end its perpetual dysfunction and unify in the face of a “national crisis”. That’s a tall order in any country, and even more challenging in factionalised Afghanistan. But Byrd argues that it’s essential for the politicians to start worki...
To understand how difficult it would be to construct the 1,814-kilometer TAPI pipeline to eventually carry some 33 billion cubic meters of gas from southern Turkmenistan all the way to Fazilka, India, RFE/RL's Turkmen Service, known locally as Azatlyk, assembled a Majlis, a panel discussion, to review the situation for TAPI as construction begins in Turkmenistan.
William Byrd, an economist at the United States Institute of Peace who has written extensively about Afghanistan, said that without political improvements, such economic programs usually had little effect in creating broader economic confidence.
“It may be perceived as a test of the government, but we know in this part of the world it's very hard for any government to do that much,” said William Byrd, a senior expert on Afghanistan for the United States Institute for Peace in Washington, who ...