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Afghanistan crumbles despite aid

By Alex Thomson

Updated on 23 December 2008

Alex Thomson reports from inside Afghanistan with startling images of how far the country has sunk despite all the billions in foreign aid.

After several weeks in the country, well away from Nato forces, Channel 4 News has emerged with new evidence of how Afghan life is crumbling.

A place now so desperate, fathers sell their own children openly, to get money for food and where the emerging Taliban state is winning hearts and minds from under the noses of Nato.

Even in the suburbs of the capital itself, kidnappers are so brazen they give interviews explaining their links with the Taliban.

All this is evidence, not seen before in the west, of how far Afghanistan has fallen apart.

A warning, this film contains some highly distressing images.

Afghanistan discussion

Jon Snow is joined by the Time magazine correspondent, Joe Klein, who has just returned from Afghanistan. In his report from Helmand he has described the war as an "aimless absurdity".

The chief executive of Oxfam, Barbara Stocking; Colonel Richard Kemp who was formerly in charge of British forces in Afghanistan; and Claire Lockhart, author of Fixing Failed States and a former UN adviser to the Afghan government, are also in the studio.

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