Dr. Cheryl Benard is a writer based in Washington, D.C., and the president of The Bamiyan Project, a non-profit organization that supports cultural activists in areas of conflict and post-conflict. From 2001 until 2009, she was the director of the Alternative Strategies Initiative at the RAND Corporation. Her book publications include Civil Democratic Islam, Women in Nation-Building, and the forthcoming Behind the Wire, Detainee Operations in Iraq.


A treasure trove of oil, gas coal and other minerals could enrich the battered nation, but mining the reserves could cause economic and environmental disaster, says Cheryl Benard.