chapter  8
State-building and police reform in Afghanistan: EU and US engagement in comparative perspective
Pages 22

Introduction The breakdown of state structures in Afghanistan created an aggravating political and security environment with global repercussions: Following the Soviet military intervention (December 1979-February 1989), Afghanistan plunged into civil war and a state of lawlessness. Under the Taliban regime of the late 1990s, Afghanistan became the epicentre of and “safe haven” for international terrorism and organized crime, including but not limited to, al-Qaeda, a terrorist group which operated out of Afghanistan but whose global outreach became obvious in its attacks on the New York Twin Towers in 2001. Additionally, Afghanistan became the largest producer and illicit trader of opium; with the narcotics trade perpetuating political violence and terrorism and jeopardizing development (Mahadevan 2011, 90).