June 21, 2011

Smart Power Setback - NYTimes.com

Smart Power Setback - NYTimes.com:

Will we ever learn that western-style nation-building in tribal societies like Afghanistan cannot be done quickly...if at all?

"Violence doesn’t stem from poverty. It stems from grudges, tribal dynamics and religious fanaticism — none of which can be ameliorated by building new roads. The poorest parts of the country [Afghanistan] are not the most violent.

Meanwhile, the influx of aid has, in many cases, created dependency, fed corruption, contributed to insecurity and undermined the host government’s capacity to oversee sustainable programs.

In the district of Nawa, for example, Usaid spent $400 per person last year. The per-capita income before aid was $300. According to the World Bank, 97 percent of Afghanistan’s G.D.P. derives from spending related to the military and donor community presence." [emphasis added]


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