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UK aid effort in Afghanistan "dysfunctional"

#1
I looked, but couldn't see this anywhere else:

http://wiredispatch.com/news/?id=35583

LONDON, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Britain's aid efforts in Afghanistan are failing, undermining military gains and fuelling the Taliban insurgency, a think-tank with long experience in the country said on Wednesday.

The Senlis Council, an international policy group with offices across Afghanistan, said research in the country's violent southern provinces in recent weeks showed next to no impact from Britain's Department for International Development.

"DFID in Helmand is dysfunctional, totally dysfunctional. Basically it should be removed and its budget should go to the army, which might be better able to deliver assistance," Norine MacDonald, Senlis's president, told Reuters.

Senlis's outspoken comments come at a testing time for Britain, the United States and their NATO allies, with the seven-year struggle to bring security to Afghanistan under intense scrutiny and widely seen as falling backwards.

The Department for International Development (DFID), the government's foreign aid arm, has spent 490 million pounds ($980 mln) on Afghan reconstruction and development since 2001 and is budgeted to spend another $210 mln this year.

But Senlis, which has more than 50 employees conducting research in Afghanistan, said there was little evidence of aid and development projects working and said refugee camps that lacked aid were now hotbeds of Taliban recruitment.

"If DFID think they are making a difference in Lashkar Gah and other towns, they clearly haven't been out to take a look. I haven't seen any signs of DFID aid or development projects," MacDonald said, referring to the main city in Helmand province...
While generally I think the Army are better than civvies :wink: , I'm not sure how I feel about this one...

Would tying in infrastructure projects with uniformed toms make the local civpop less likely to co-operate (though they don't neccessarily not hate/distrust the DFID wallahs either)? Or make them look kindlier on the Army?

At least armed RE and loggie pioneers would be able to do the work and take care of their own FP, but do we even have the resources to actually spend development money effectively (assuming Broon won't divert any of the DFID cash to upgrading the military logistics capacity necessary)?
 

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