In his briefing on the situation in Afghanistan, UN Special Representative Kai Ede observed that although the security situation in Afghanistan has "deteriorated," it's really not as bad as all that. "Cooperation between key elements inside the government have improved," said Eide, and he noted that although high-profile attacks in Kabul were up, total attacks in the capital were down. So thank goodness for that.
Delightfully, after breaking all the global records for the most opium produced by one country in the history of the world, Afghanistan's poppy crop--half its economy--is expected to drop by about a third this year. Whether this is the result of counternarcotic efforts or merely a result of oversupply or a drop in demand due to the recession was unclear.
Added Eide, "Afghanistan is today the only country in the world where the average life expectancy for women is lower than for men." And this apparently even includes Oman, where there are no women.