In response to a report by the Senate on Foreign Relations Committee, I wrote a piece on UN Dispatch about how the current aid policy, dictated in large part by insurgent violence, fails to win hearts and minds and deprives peaceful provinces of their due share of development aid.
The article also has a table and a chart to help illustrate the points. Here are some excerpts:
…the violence perpetrated by the Taliban has not only caused serious deterioration of security but also dangerously skewed the focus of US aid projects in Afghanistan.
…as US foreign assistance increased from 1.1 billion in 2006 to 4.1 billion in 2010, and CERP spending increased from 215 million to one billion in the same time-frame, UNAMA statistics show that annual civilian casualties increased from 929 to 2,777. Most of these casualties were from insurgent violence in the volatile areas.
The lesson is that throwing billions of dollars at unstable provinces does not automatically generate peace or prosperity in those areas.
COIN, implemented in an environment of urgency to produce quick results, is fundamentally inconsistent with the Government of Afghanistan’s priorities.
Here’s the full article.