The Other Afghan Surge

April 4, 2009 • Daily Email Recap

Thanks to Bob Walker for this editorial, which was distributed to 800 U.S. newspapers and magazines by the Cagle Syndication Service.

Despite President Obama’s decision last month to send an additional 17,000 troops to Afghanistan, many experts warn that a military “surge” will not bring about a quick victory. Some suggest that it could take another 15 to 20 years to achieve stability in one of the world’s poorest countries. If so, maybe it’s time to look at the other Afghan surge: its population growth.

It’s been seven years now since George W. Bush committed American troops to Afghanistan. Since then, Afghanistan’s population has jumped by 22 percent, and under current projections, its population will be twice as large in 2026 as it was in 2001. That’s because the average Afghan woman has almost seven children, one of the highest fertility rates in the world.

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