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Afghanistan: 5 areas of concern after the US leaves

The withdrawal of US and NATO forces from Afghanistan will have profound, direct effects on the country's security, economy, and society.  Here are five areas that are likely to see an impact.

The economy

The departure of the US from Afghanistan will have a profound effect on the Afghan economy. As the Monitor's Tom Peter recently wrote, 90 percent of the Afghan government’s budget comes from foreign sources, and about 97 percent of the country’s GDP has come to depend on foreign aid and international military spending. The World Bank has warned of economic collapse in Afghanistan if international donors pull funding too fast.

But attempts to foster new industries in Afghanistan, such as mineral mining, have yet to bear fruit.  The Independent writes that China plans to develop the Aynak copper mine, which some believe to be the world's second largest deposit of high-grade copper, while Indian companies are investing in Afghan iron mines. Yet the start of operations remains several years away.

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