Monday, February 26, 2007

Canadian PM to boost Afghanistan reconstruction aid

Seemingly oblivious to the lessons being learned by their neighbours to the South, the Canadian Prime Minister announced a further 200 million dollars in reconstruction aid for Afghanistan. The Globe and Mail framed the announcement in less than glowing terms: 'Before those dispiriting images of flag-draped coffins return to Canadian television sets, the prime minister hopes to remind the country of the more uplifting things being accomplished.'

The punchline of the article is in underlining that the failure to date has been that civilians are unable to operate in hostile environments- operate in a way that allows them to select good quality projects, and implement them according to commonly accepted principles, standards and in a transparent and accountable manner. Nothing new in the commentary.

The article moves on to make an odd comparison with the US:
'By way of comparison, the U.S. gives its military officials access to a $136-million (U.S.) fund which they use to quickly dish out cash for infrastructure projects.'