It is shocking to discover that pumping $19 billion (nearly one year of its GDP) into aid for Afghanistan has achieved next to nothing in the way of substantive results in light of how providing financial resources to unproductive, low-IQ, semi-civilized populations has worked so well in the United States over the last 50 years:
After a thorough two-year review of U.S. aid efforts in Afghanistan, the staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee emphasized, “The unintended consequences of pumping large amounts of money into a war zone cannot be underestimated.”
Much of the aid effort was premised on the assumption that development would foster stability. Young men with jobs wouldn’t plant roadside bombs. Communities with growing economies would reject the Taliban. This assumption was based on the modern prejudice that bad behavior has material roots. Give people money and jobs and you will improve their character and behavior.
In Afghanistan, as elsewhere, this assumption seems not to be true. A conference of experts brought together last year in Wilton Park in Britain concluded that there is a “surprisingly weak evidence base for the effectiveness of aid in promoting stabilization and security objectives” in Afghanistan.
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 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.
To put things in perspective, what the USA has done is the equivalent of someone giving Americans an additional $1.36 trillion every year for 10 years. Perhaps the greatest irony is that this attempt to replicate the War on Poverty on an international level was actually labeled “Smart Power”. Such an appellation highlights the supremely clueless arrogance of the government bureaucrat, where there is no such thing as a policy failure, even completely predictable disasters are put down to nothing more than the disappointing result of an improper implementation.
Card-carrying Red Faction members would do well to note that this grand distributional debacle was not the result of the evil Blue Faction running amok again, it was the enthusiastic policy of “national greatness conservatives” of the sort you are hoping will rescue you from another four years of the SSO administration.