The Afghan Interim Administration (AIA) writ does not extend far beyond Kabul, and the country has settled back into the ethnic, political and sectarian divisions that immediately preceded the Taliban. The map looks uncomfortably like that before the Taliban consolidated their rule in 1996.
A national army and police force are years from being achieved; the judiciary and civil courts – never mind a universal code of law – are likewise distant; and armed factions rather than civil government predominate. Into this heady and volatile brew comes that most combustible of ingredients: money.
Money does not spend itself – an individual or organisation has to do the spending. Much of that about to be spent in Afghanistan will be on major infrastructure projects such as road and bridge construction, hospitals and schools, water and sanitation programmes – vast schemes that will go to international tender as commercial activities.