e-Ariana - Todays Afghan News
 Home 
 News 
 Articles 
 Cartoons 
 Feedback 
 Opinion  
 Contact Us  
 An Ariana Media Publication 08/31/2014
 U.S. Afghan aid could flop on counterinsurgency goals - watchdog

Reuters
07/31/2012
By

[Printer Friendly Version]

Costly U.S. efforts to build major infrastructure projects in Afghanistan are running far behind schedule, and may fall short of counter-insurgency goals central to the U.S. military campaign there, a government watchdog warned on Monday.

Almost $400 million (254 million pounds) in power grid, roads and other construction projects from fiscal 2011 "may not achieve the desired COIN effects," the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) said.

The COIN acronym refers to the military strategy, credited with helping turn around the war in Iraq, that is now a mainstay of the Pentagon's bid to weaken the Afghan Taliban. With the strategy, the counter-insurgency campaign depends on winning the local populace's backing, turning it away from insurgents.

"In some instances, these projects may result in adverse COIN effects because they create an expectations gap among the affected population or lack citizen support," the inspector general said of activities under the Afghanistan Infrastructure Project, jointly backed by the Defense and State departments and carried out by the U.S. Agency for International Development.

SIGAR found that procurement and funding delays - from many sources including poor security, personnel changes, faulty cost estimates and slow transfer of funds between government agencies - had put five of seven projects from fiscal 2011 six to fifteen months behind schedule.

"And most projects may not achieve desired COIN benefits for several years," SIGAR said.

The report comes as the Obama administration pushes ahead with its gradual exit from Afghanistan, where the Taliban remains a dire threat after more than a decade of U.S. and NATO efforts to defeat it.

Equally daunting, as NATO nations plan the removal of most troops by the end of 2014, is the challenge of making sure that billions of dollars in aid since 2001 makes a permanent, positive mark.

While donor nations are pledging to give $16 billion in development aid through 2015, annual Western assistance is already shrinking. U.S. assistance peaked in 2010.

The Afghanistan Infrastructure Project, or AIP, is a U.S. effort to provide better roads, power grids and water supplies for Afghans, in part to erode support for the Taliban and its allies, who have deep roots in much of the Afghan south and east.

The report also found that the projects could remain uncompleted or fall into disrepair because officials had not properly arranged for future maintenance and funding, or because they planned to rely on Afghan government agencies of "questionable capacity."

"The success and viability of many ... projects hinge, in part, on unidentified, unfunded infrastructure projects and the successful, timely completion of other projects that the U.S. government has been unable to complete for more than 7 years," SIGAR said.

Widespread public corruption remains a major concern in Afghanistan even as President Hamid Karzai promises outside donors he will crack down on fraud.

In its response, the Defense Department said that SIGAR's study revealed "a clear lack of understanding of U.S. counterinsurgency doctrine" and failed to note that Afghans might rally around a building project long before it was finished.

"Clearly, if dashed hopes can produce adverse effects, then that very hope produces positive COIN effects in advance of project implementation," it said.

(Reporting By Missy Ryan; Editing by Warren Strobel and Vicki Allen)

Back to Top



Other Stories:


Has Afghan election fraud controversy been defused?
The Christian Science Monitor (06/25/2014)

Moscow’s Afghan Endgame
The Diplomat (06/25/2014)

Apologize to people, MPs asks Abdullah
Pajhwok (06/25/2014)

The Men Who Run Afghanistan
The Atlantic (06/23/2014)

After Karzai
The Atlantic (06/23/2014)

IEC secretary announces resignation
Pajhwok (06/23/2014)

IECC spurns Abdullah’s claim; hails UN intervention
Pajhwok (06/23/2014)

Afghan election crisis: 'stuffed sheep' recordings suggest large-scale fraud
The Guardian (06/23/2014)

Foreign spies trading on poll crisis: People
Pajhwok (06/22/2014)

Election commission office closed in Kunduz due to security threats
Khaama Press (06/22/2014)

Afghan Leader Backs U.N. Election Role
The New York Times (06/21/2014)

Tensions mount over Afghan vote, protest held in Kabul
Reuters (06/21/2014)

Hundreds protest alleged Afghan election fraud
The Associated Press (06/21/2014)

Afghan Presidential Election Takes Dangerous Turn
The Huffington Post (06/21/2014)

20,000 Heratis being sent to Iran for work
Pajhwok (12/27/2013)

At Kabul airport, exodus of U.S. aid goes on
The Washington Post (12/27/2013)

Haqqani Network leaders sexually abuse teenager boys
Khama Press (12/27/2013)

Unemployment, Crime Rising Ahead Of Troop Pullout
Tolo (12/27/2013)

British army head warns Taliban could retake key territory in south
Khama Press (12/27/2013)

Election Officials Emphasize Impartial Surveys
Tolo (12/27/2013)

A Complete US Withdrawal From Afghanistan Would Be 'A Complete Catastrophe' For Civilian Aid
Reuters (12/27/2013)

Facing Big Changes, Anxious Afghans Hope For The Best In 2014
NPR (12/27/2013)

Afghanistan, North Korea, and Somalia Are the World's Most Corrupt Countries, With China in the Middle
businessweek.com (12/04/2013)

Poetry of Betrayal: Afghan Elections and Transitional Justice
Beacon Reader (10/25/2013)

Couple beheaded in Helmand province for having love affair
Khaama Press (10/25/2013)

US senator says no aid for Afghanistan unless security deal finalized
Khaama Press (10/25/2013)

Would-be child bombers detained: NDS
Pajhwok (10/25/2013)

Afghanistan
PJ (10/24/2013)

The Afghan dead find a list
Inter Press Service (10/24/2013)

10 runners shortlisted in 2014 presidential race
Pajhwok (10/24/2013)


Back to Top