December 2008 – January 2009
Afghanistan is one of the poorest countries in the world. The health and education systems are barely functional- the average life expectency is 44 years and the literacy rate is 28%. After the overthrow of the Taliban in 2001, there was wide support for coalition forces and there were high hopes for peace and prosperity.
That optimism has been replaced with frustration and anger. The Afghan people complain that after eight years, there has been little development and reconstruction. Civilian casualties, endemic corruption, and failed elections are turning people away from the government and fueling the insurgency.