Follow Christiane on social media:

On Twitter + Facebook + Instagram Amanpour producers on Twitter

What time is Amanpour on CNN?

Check showtimes to see when Amanpour is on CNN where you are. Or watch online.

Check showtimes to see when Amanpour is on CNN where you are. Or watch online.

Turning off the lights in Afghanistan

January 14th, 2013
02:07 PM ET

By Lucky Gold, CNN

Just as President Obama considers accelerating the exit of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, the prospects for peace and prosperity there may be dimming – literally.

The Kajaki Dam on the Helmand River symbolizes all that has gone right and wrong in Afghanistan.

It was built by American contractors in the 1950s, and survived both the Soviet invasion and Taliban rule after that.

Since the beginning of this latest Afghan war, the U.S. has committed hundreds of millions of dollars to upgrade hydro-electric generators in order to bring electricity to three hundred thousand people and bolster agriculture in the region.

At an even greater cost, the U.S. and NATO have committed the lives of coalition forces to protect the workers from insurgents bent on killing them and destroying the projects.

Afghans have vowed that the work will go on, but the price – both in blood and treasure – only keeps rising. With the United States’ imminent withdrawal, the dam could become vulnerable again.

Now, it seems that unless Afghans are willing to pay for it with money and manpower, the lights – and the hopes of a people – will be extinguished.

READ MORE: Karzai confident he can get U.S. troops immunity

Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Imagine a World
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Ron Reddick

    After living and working in AF for 3 plus years (2007 -2010) I see it reverting past what once was. When I arrived Kabul had limited electricity, ahh, the drone of the Genset. But I could drive around Kabul, Wardak, and the Panshir with no issues. Even Kandahar was semi safe. The Shops catering to the expats, the pool at Unica, even Sizzlin Steak house are now things of the past. In my few visits back in country over the following 2 years it is not once as it was, nor do I see it getting any better. The commitment is not there to finish the work of ISAF, only the will to extract as much money from ISAF and the NGO's to support the AF mansions in Dubai is the goal. It is a sad day, as the average Afghani just wants it all to end, to be normal, and I fear it never will be that again. A wonderful country, a friendly people for the most part, proud, and surrounded by conflict and politics, be it ISI, the world, or tribal factions, it is all working to tear Afghanistan apart once again

    January 14, 2013 at 6:48 pm | Reply
  2. thegobetweengoat

    Ron, your take is interesting as you have been here far longer than me. I have seen instability (like the explosion a couple hours ago for example), but there are still expat establishments popping up, as well as a healthy underground art and music scene led by the Afghan youth (not Afghani – that is the money). It will be interesting to see what happens as the country transitions, but do not give up hope quite yet. I know a lof of nationals who have not. It rests in the politics more than anything else. It is a beautiful country, in parts you would never know there was conflict.

    January 16, 2013 at 6:00 am | Reply
  3. Local Militia

    The Afghans contrary to popular belief are not peaceful people nor do they want such a dream. I'm not bashing upon their culture or their way of life. I have studied and interacted with thousands of Afghans in the last several years. And with that I can tell you with certainty they do not want peace and are not known for it either. Iv talked to elders who grew up during the Shah's reign and even they told me the king's hold outside of Kabul was precarious at best. He had to rely heavily upon the powerful warlords/noblemen in each province. The notoriety of warlords and militias is as old in Afghanistan as the country itself. For us it is a recent phenomenon. For them its their way of life. It is because of this they revert back so quickly to nepotism. Afghans have never ever liked a strong central government in their entire history regardless of foreign intervention. They prefer their own militias and their own kings for their own provinces. Having seen their brutality first hand both by the insurgents and the locals they most certainly are not a 'peaceful' peoples. Far from it. One of their primary languages, Pashto, alone has 15 different words describing revenge. Half their culture is dedicated towards this concept. The end result is physical conflict. not peace. Last week we had a Shura. A few of their elders spoke to me and said: "when we die our legacy will be war as it was before me and long after my grandson". I asked: " don't you want peace?". He says: "Conflict makes you strong and war will make you an empire." That pretty much summons up their sentiments. And it will stay that way as the last 500 years have dictated it will be.

    January 23, 2013 at 10:33 am | Reply
  4. Salvador Elery

    I was examining some of your posts on this website and I believe this site is very instructive! Retain putting up.

    December 20, 2020 at 5:59 pm | Reply
  5. vreyro linomit

    It¦s actually a nice and helpful piece of information. I¦m happy that you just shared this helpful information with us. Please keep us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

    January 15, 2021 at 4:09 pm | Reply
  6. vreyrolinomit

    I?¦ll immediately grab your rss as I can't find your email subscription hyperlink or newsletter service. Do you have any? Please permit me realize so that I may subscribe. Thanks.

    January 23, 2021 at 7:40 am | Reply
  7. Bao Farria

    Thanks so much for providing individuals with such a splendid possiblity to read from this site. It can be very terrific and as well , packed with fun for me and my office mates to search your web site no less than three times in one week to read the newest items you have got. And indeed, I am also usually happy with the great knowledge you give. Selected 4 tips in this posting are really the most impressive we have had.

    January 24, 2021 at 3:55 pm | Reply
  8. vreyrolinomit

    I cling on to listening to the rumor speak about receiving boundless online grant applications so I have been looking around for the finest site to get one. Could you tell me please, where could i find some?

    February 1, 2021 at 3:07 am | Reply
  9. malatya escort

    esenyurt escort bayanar bu sitede üstelik hepsi ücretsiz...

    February 4, 2021 at 3:41 pm | Reply
  10. BonusLikes Twitter Post Likes

    My husband and i have been quite contented Raymond could finish up his reports because of the precious recommendations he was given using your web pages. It's not at all simplistic to simply choose to be giving for free solutions that many some people may have been trying to sell. And we remember we now have you to appreciate for this. All of the explanations you made, the straightforward blog navigation, the relationships you will aid to promote – it is everything superb, and it's really helping our son in addition to our family do think that concept is exciting, which is extremely pressing. Thanks for all the pieces!

    February 4, 2021 at 5:06 pm | Reply
  11. mersin escort

    esenyurt escort bayanar bu sitede üstelik hepsi ücretsiz...

    February 5, 2021 at 11:17 am | Reply

    iskenderun escort bayanlarla tanışmak için bu siteyi ziyaret edebilirsiniz.

    February 6, 2021 at 10:39 pm | Reply

    iskenderun escort bayanlarla tanışmak için bu siteyi ziyaret edebilirsiniz.

    February 7, 2021 at 12:18 am | Reply
  14. iskenderun escort

    iskenderun escort bayanlarla tanışmak için bu siteyi ziyaret edebilirsiniz.

    February 7, 2021 at 7:29 pm | Reply
  15. adana escort

    iskenderun escort bayanlarla tanışmak için bu siteyi ziyaret edebilirsiniz.

    February 7, 2021 at 11:12 pm | Reply
  16. zortilonrel

    My brother suggested I might like this blog. He was totally right. This post actually made my day. You cann't imagine just how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

    February 12, 2021 at 2:48 am | Reply
  17. child porns

    child porns

    February 16, 2021 at 8:06 am | Reply
  18. malatya escort

    malatya escort bayanlarla tanışmak için bu siteyi ziyaret edebilirsiniz.

    February 16, 2021 at 3:51 pm | Reply
  19. Kristina Giangrosso

    Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing some research on that. And he just bought me lunch as I found it for him smile Therefore let me rephrase that: Thank you for lunch!

    March 4, 2021 at 9:46 am | Reply
  20. Ferdinand Langman

    Someone necessarily help to make significantly posts I would state. That is the very first time I frequented your web page and so far? I amazed with the research you made to create this particular submit incredible. Fantastic process!

    March 6, 2021 at 2:22 pm | Reply
  21. Philip Frogge

    I simply could not leave your site prior to suggesting that I actually loved the standard information a person provide in your visitors? Is gonna be back steadily in order to check up on new posts

    May 12, 2021 at 3:59 am | Reply

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.