‘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
On the prospects of a Development Army here
…Several problems remain, not least the effectiveness of Development work at present in places such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Billions have been spent in both places and much of the funds are often misappropriated. Whether the military’s involvement in the future will make those handling such funds more accountable remains to be seen.
Secondly many in the Development sector opposed both the invasion of Afghanistan and then later the attack on Iraq. Their willingness to be involved and associated with any future operations may be doubtful and therefore may throw into jeopardy any possible future involvement with the Military.
General Dannatt’s speech may embolden those who believe in ‘Liberal interventionism’ as championed by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. It may be that this method, usually associated with intervention by one or more country in the affairs of another may well in the end only sit well with a supra national organisation such as the United Nations. Seen as being above narrow national interests, the Development sector may prove to be more of a natural bedfellow with UN Blue Berets’ than with any one nations’ military.
Excerpts from this blog-post:
Since the ousting of the Taliban regime in late 2001, donors have spent some US$13 billion on various rebuilding and development activities in the country, of which only 12 percent has been channelled through the government, the country’s Finance Ministry said.
Speaking in the wake of Afghanistan’s Development Forum (ADF) held on 29-30 April in Kabul aimed at assessing development outcomes and the country’s future needs, Finance Minister Anwar-ul-Haq Ahady said: “We are accountable for only US$3.7 billion of the US$12.8 billion of aid money that has been spent in the country in the last five years: the rest has been spent by donors themselves,” said Ahady.
Foreign aid bypassing government systems
Some Afghan legislators have criticized the way aid money has been distributed through a cascade of foreign subcontractors which, they say, siphons off international funding to one of the world’s least developed countries.
Mustafa Kazimi, chairman of the economy committee of the Afghan parliament’s lower house, said: “Out of every US dollar spent by donors on Afghanistan ’s reconstruction 80 cents finds its way out of the country”.
“We have about 60 donors,” said Ishaq Nadiri, senior economic adviser to Afghan President Hamid Karzai. “There is a need for the international aid money to be rationalised and made more meaningful to the citizens of Afghanistan”.
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