After the September 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, the U.S. military action initiated on Afghanistan resulted in the Taliban being stripped of their territory and power, but Afghanistan's future remains in serious disarray. Negotiations to set up an interim government began in Germany in November 2001, and while the participants claimed a desire for peace and a new beginning, Afghanistan's legacy of war and destruction certainly leaves the success of such platitudes open to doubt. Once the U.S.-led military action ends, an international peacekeeping presence will certainly be required to prevent further bloodshed. Given the volatile nature of the country and region, the international community will be called upon to help rebuild Afghanistan and protect the fledgling government that comes out of this latest conflict. Any sort of normalized economic relations are likely several years away.
The United Nations has recognized the need for massive humanitarian intervention in Afghanistan in order to prevent famine in the drought-stricken parts of the country in which 8 to 12 million people live. Of these people, 1.6 million faced starvation in January 2001. The UN made arrangements for weekly humanitarian flights to Kandahar with supplies and there was a project underway to fly extremely sick children to Germany for treatment. Many non-governmental organizations are calling for increased awareness and urgent action on the part of the international community.