23 June 2011

Troop Cuts to Bring Aid Cuts?

With the looming pullout in Afghanistan, will aid dollars follow the troops home?

President Barack Obama's Afghanistan troop withdrawal is likely to be accompanied by cuts in billions of dollars of civilian aid, bringing a precipitous shift of control many fear could tip the country into further corruption and chaos.
Parallel with Obama's draw-down of combat troops by 2014, the United States plans to pull back hundreds of civilian advisers involved in helping govern Afghanistan, whether helping organize the annual budget or FBI agents setting up crime units.
The aim is to wean Afghanistan off foreign aid to form a sustainable state, allowing the West to exit without being accused of abandonment -- an image that has haunted the international community since the Soviet exit in 1989 ended in civil war.
The strategy risks leaving fewer resources for one of the world's poorest countries. Giving what is left to President Hamid Karzai's government -- widely criticized for endemic corruption -- may just end in unchecked graft and political interference in civil projects.

By: Brant

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