‘Assessment Of Corruption In Afghanistan‘, United States Agency for International Development, March 2009
EXCERPT: “USAID/Afghanistan commissioned an assessment to provide a strategy, program options, and recommendations on needs and opportunities to strengthen the capacity and political will of the Government of Afghanistan to fulfill its National Anti-Corruption Strategy. This report thus assesses the issue of corruption in the country, the legal and institutional frameworks for combating corruption, as well as USAID, USG and other donor activities against corruption, Continue reading
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A looming threat from Al Qaeda & the Taliban militia and an in-flux of Afghan refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) has left Pakistan in a worst refugee crisis since the partition in 1947. US led drone strikes and Pakistan military’s onslaught against the Talibans has crippled a great mass of Afghan and Pakistani civilians. Why do states always carry out post-mortem reports on innocent war causalities, instead of ensuring civilians’ security prior to the Continue reading
Military intervention into Pakistan may succeed, but ridding Afghanistan of the Taliban requires strategic soft power
Ambassador Ludin’s suggestion to extend the scope of the military intervention into Pakistan is at best a partial solution to a complex problem. The suggested offensive, if targeted well, would sever one of the lifelines of the Taliban, who are receiving strategic guidance, intelligence and the use of a safe corridor to access global funding and manpower through Pakistan. However, it fails to deal with a variety of other groups of Taliban within Afghanistan and the larger discontent and loss of confidence in the international presence and the Afghan government.
Therefore, any military offensive to eliminate the Taliban would be a failure unless accompanied by softer efforts aiming to create a strong and inclusive Afghan democracy and making the Taliban an ideologically unattractive alternative.
The level of confidence on the Afghan government and the international presence in the country has been steadily declining over last few years. The Afghan government needs to attempt to recreate that sense of optimism and trust that it enjoyed during the first few post-Taliban years. Continue reading
Great post from here
The politicization and militarization of aid to Afghanistan did not start in 2001. The nature of aid to Afghanistan started as both political and military with British subsidies. In the 1950s the peaceful but very political battle between the US and the USSR to win over the Afghan government with assistance began. The Americans ended up “losing” this “battle” by a 3-1 margin (US$1.5 billion versus approximately 500 million in olden days dollars). Plus the Americans sunk much of their resources into the hugely problematic Helmand Valley Project while the Soviets opted for highly visible prestige projects in Kabul plus a nifty highway system with bridges to accommodate a full rage of Soviet military equipment……uh, rather “local lorries delivering fruit” is what we meant. Da, eto fakt.
Once the anti-Soviet jihad got started the flow of American, Saudi, Chinese, Pakistani, Egyptian, et al. military aid commenced. Included in this, to a lesser degree, was humanitarian assistance. This is obviously well known. But what about the politicization and militarization of NGO work? And I’m not talking PRTs here. I’m talking about well-established international NGOs with a long track record of good works around the world basically setting up shop with some of the Peshawar-based Mujahideen Parties. There were of course those “fake” NGOs which were created by the US, Saudi and Pakistan to spy and deliver assistance on both sides of the line. But again, I’m also speaking about groups which today are complaining about the militarization of humanitarian aid in Afghanistan who, in the 1980s willingly entered into a position of assisting and empowering Islamist and royalist guerilla factions. Continue reading
Publish Date: February 14, 2008
Afghan émigré Dr. Karim Qayumi has visited Kabul regularly in recent years. There, in the Afghan capital, the 58-year-old medical doctor maintains an extension office of his Vancouver-based nonprofit group, Partnership Afghanistan Canada. Early this month, according to Qayumi, that office received a shipment of 280 wheelchairs from Canadian donors.As politicians in Ottawa ponder the future of Canada’s involvement in Afghanistan—a matter that could trigger a federal election—Qayumi hopes there will be some changes in the situation in his native land.
“I think most of the effort is towards the stabilization of Afghanistan through military means, so there’s not much done for the civilian population,” Qayumi told the Georgia Straight. “In the last four or five years, more than $80 billion had been spent on war in Afghanistan and only $4 billion on aid.”
Currently director of the UBC Centre of Excellence for Surgical Education and Innovation, Qayumi noted that members of the international community haven’t delivered on their promises to help Afghans get back on their feet.
“First of all, I want to see the war stopped in Afghanistan, because no matter how you want to rebuild, it’s going to be destroyed again,” he said. “With respect to rebuilding, I want to see projects that are enabling Afghans to stand on their own.” Continue reading
By Ken Fireman
Feb. 11 (Bloomberg) — The strategy combined economic development, drug control and security: two Afghan-American brothers with a factory in Kandahar and a plan to give opium farmers an incentive to grow cotton instead.
For two years, Yosuf and Abdul Mir pleaded with U.S. officials for a $1.5 million grant for their project, arguing that it meshes perfectly with a billion-dollar-a-year American opium-eradication program. Then, last year, they were turned down.
The Agency for International Development’s refusal reflects a broader American policy breakdown in Afghanistan, according to critics: Even as the U.S. and NATO win tactical military battles against the Taliban, they may be losing the war through an inability to create the economic and political environment needed to defeat the insurgents.
The decision against funding the cotton proposal “is a remarkable example of the failure to align our tools with our strategy,” Barnett Rubin, an expert on Afghanistan at New York University, said in Jan. 23 testimony to the House Armed Services Committee.
The long western effort to shore up Afghanistan after the U.S.-led overthrow of the Taliban in 2001 stands at what former Undersecretary of State Thomas Pickering, the co-author of a new report on the enterprise, calls “a critical crossroads.” Continue reading