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  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Creating political unity and reasons to be loyal to government. Creating a new structure of governance and balance between factions. Effective revenue collection, budget planning and expenditure, and limits to corruption. Fully replacing NATO/ISAF with the ANSF and "layered defense". Creating a new structure of security forces, advisors, and aid funds, to include addressing the presence of US and other nations' personnel. Acting on the Tokyo Conference: Creating effective flow and use of aid, economic reform, and limits to corruption and waste Stabilizing a market economy driven by military spending and moving towards development: Brain drain and capital flight. Coping with weather and other challenges to agricultural structure and with pressures to increase the narco - economy. Dealing with neighbors: Pakistan, I ran, Central Asian nations, India, China, and Russia.
  • Topic: International Relations, Security, Military Strategy, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Russia, China, South Asia, India, North America
  • Author: Anthony H. Cordesman
  • Publication Date: 12-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Creating an effective transition for the ANSF is only one of the major challenges that Afghanistan, the US, and Afghanistan's other allies face during 2014-2015 and beyond. The five other key challenges include: Going from an uncertain election to effective leadership and political cohesion and unity. Creating an effective and popular structure governance, with suitable reforms, from the local to central government, reducing corruption to acceptable levels, and making suitable progress in planning, budgeting, and budget execution. Coping with the coming major cuts in outside aid and military spending in Afghanistan, adapting to a largely self - financed economy, developing renewal world economic development plans, carrying out the reforms pledged at the Tokyo Conference, and reducing the many barriers to doing business. Establishing relations with Pakistan and other neighbors that will limit outside pressures and threats, and insurgent sanctuaries on Afghanistan's border. Persuading the US, other donors, NGCO, and nations will to provide advisors to furnish the needed aid effort through at least 2018, and probably well beyond.
  • Topic: Military Strategy, Bilateral Relations, Foreign Aid, Public Opinion
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, Asia
  • Author: Frances Z. Brown
  • Publication Date: 07-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: The conclusion of the U.S.-led "surge" of 2009 onward and the closure of provincial recon¬struction teams and other local civil-military installations have affected how aid is delivered in Afghanistan's more remote and contested areas. The time is ripe for a recalibration of donor approaches to local governance and development in areas previously targeted by the surge. Specifically, foreign stakeholders should reexamine three central principles of their previous subnational governance strategy. First, donors should revise their conception of assisting service delivery from the previous approach, which often emphasized providing maximal inputs in a fragmented way, to a more restrained vision that stresses predictability and reliability and acknowledges the interlinked nature of politics, justice, and sectoral services in the eyes of the local population. Second, donors should reframe their goal of establishing linkages between the Afghan govern¬ment and population by acknowledging that the main obstacles to improving center-periph¬ery communication and execution are often political and structural rather than technical. Third, donors should revise the way they define, discuss, and measure local governance prog¬ress in contested areas, away from favoring snapshots of inputs and perceptions and toward capturing longer-term changes on the ground in processes, structures, and incentives. The coming political and development aid transition provides an overdue opportunity for Afghan governance priorities to come to the fore. At the same time, the ever growing chasm between Kabul's deliberations on the one hand and local governance as experienced in more remote, insurgency-wracked areas on the other presents renewed risks. In the short term, donors let the air out of the aid bubble carefully. In the long term, resolving Afghanistan's local governance challenges continues to demand sustained commitment and systematic execution.
  • Topic: International Relations, Economics, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Catherine Lutz, Sujaya Desai
  • Publication Date: 11-2014
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University
  • Abstract: The United States, and its allies, the UN, NGOs, and the World Bank, have injected billions of dollars into what is commonly termed the "reconstruction" of Afghanistan since the war began in 2001. This paper focuses on United States spending on aid in Afghanistan, describing the rationale government officials have given for the aid, what they have spent money on, who has profited from the contracts to provide aid, and what the consequences of that spending have been in terms of benefits to the people of Afghanistan or the United States. The central findings of this review of US government investigative reports and existing field-based scholarship are that reconstruction aid has been allocated primarily to re-arming and policing Afghanistan, with poor or even counterproductive outcomes in both security and other-than-security domains. Furthermore, US companies have been among the primary beneficiaries of this aid, despite widespread fraud, waste, and dysfunction. In contrast to a focus on human needs, and rather than rebuilding the basis of a modern state, reconstruction has been focused on furthering United States security interests. Reconstruction thus sets the foundation for continued violence and impoverishment in the years to come.
  • Topic: Corruption, Foreign Aid, World Bank
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Sadaf Lakhani
  • Publication Date: 10-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: United States Institute of Peace
  • Abstract: While Afghanistan's economy has experienced strong growth in the past decade, declining levels of overseas development assistance beginning in 2014 are expected to substantially reduce the country's economic growth rate, with attendant political implications.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Economics, Natural Resources, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan
  • Author: Karsten Friis
  • Publication Date: 12-2013
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Norwegian Institute of International Affairs
  • Abstract: In a way, one could consider Norway a typical example of a small International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) partner in Afghanistan, with 400 troops at its disposal and responsible for one of the 26 provincial reconstruction teams (PRT). Norway is a signatory to the Atlantic Pact and a staunch North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) member. At the same time, the people and the government of Norway — like those in many European countries — share reservations about the extraterritorial use of military force. They consider Norway to be a "peace-nation," a small state without strategic global interests. Norwegian foreign policy favors the multilateral institutional approach, providing stability and predictability through the United Nations (UN). The government of Norway has to balance military needs with civilian demands for humanitarian aid and the support of human rights — in particular women's rights. In Afghanistan, Norwegian civilian aid priorities included the strengthening of Afghan governance capacities, rule of law, education, and rural development.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Humanitarian Aid, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Norway
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: International Crisis Group
  • Abstract: After a decade of major security, development and humanitarian assistance, the international community has failed to achieve a politically stable and economically viable Afghanistan. Despite billions of dollars in aid, state institutions remain fragile and unable to provide good governance, deliver basic services to the majority of the population or guarantee human security. As the insurgency spreads to areas regarded as relatively safe till now, and policymakers in Washington and other Western capitals seek a way out of an unpopular war, the international community still lacks a coherent policy to strengthen the state ahead of the withdrawal of most foreign forces by December 2014. The impact of international assistance will remain limited unless donors, particularly the largest, the U.S., stop subordinating programming to counter-insurgency objectives, devise better mechanisms to monitor implementation, adequately address corruption and wastage of aid funds, and ensure that recipient communities identify needs and shape assistance policies.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, War, Foreign Aid, Counterinsurgency
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Vijaya Ramachandran, Gregory Johnson, Julie Walz
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Center for Global Development
  • Abstract: The U.S. military has become substantially engaged in economic development and stabilization and will likely continue to carry out these activities in in-conflict zones for some time to come. Since FY2002, nearly $62 billion has been appropriated for relief and reconstruction in Afghanistan. The Commander's Emergency Response Program (CERP), which provides funds for projects to address urgent reconstruction and relief efforts, is one component of the military's development operations. In this analysis, we take U.S. military involvement in development as a given and concentrate on providing recommendations for it to operate more efficiently and effectively. By doing so, we are not advocating that the U.S. military become involved in all types of development activities or that CERP be used more broadly; rather, our recommendations address the military's capacity to carry out what it is already doing in Afghanistan and other in-conflict situations.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Development, Economics, War, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States
  • Author: Janne Bjerre Christensen
  • Publication Date: 04-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This report offers a critical examination of Iran's influence in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Two points are made: that Iran's top priority is its own regime's survival and its regional policies are directed by its national security concerns. Secondly, that Iran's engagements in Afghanistan are clearly guided by the presence of the US. Iran's predominant interest is in stabilizing Afghanistan, but as long as Afghanistan is neither safe nor stable, Iran will play a double game and engage with its regional neighbours according to the US–Iran equation. Deterrence, counter-containment and competition are the keywords in these complex relations. The report outlines Iran's reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan, its political platform and 'soft power', and the bonds of mutual dependency in terms of water rights, refugees and drug trafficking. It examines Iran's alleged military interventions and the reasons for playing this double game. Lastly, the report discusses Iran's tense relationship with Pakistan with regard to both Afghanistan and the troubled region of Baluchistan.
  • Topic: International Relations, Foreign Policy, Development, Power Politics, Foreign Aid
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, Afghanistan, United States, Iran
  • Author: Dr. Ann M Fitz-Gerald, Christian Dennys
  • Publication Date: 11-2011
  • Content Type: Working Paper
  • Institution: Danish Institute for International Studies
  • Abstract: This paper argues that the emergence of stabilisation as a concept out of peace-building, state- building and counter-insurgency theories has carried with it some of the key weaknesses of international intervention, in particular the idea that imposing western liberal systems on non- western societies will contribute towards stability. With reference to two case studies, the Wheat Seed project in Afghanistan and a gas cylinder distribution project in Iraq, the paper argues that stabilisation activities do not engage fully with the underlying premise that stabilisation must support and engender local political legitimacy, in part because of the conceptual baggage that stabilisation has adopted from other areas. The paper concludes by arguing that greater use should be made of the knowledge and histories of non-western state formation, characterized as being non- Weberian, as a counter to the overuse by interveners of the desire to support rational Weberian state structures in other countries.
  • Topic: Security, Development, Foreign Aid, Neoimperialism
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Arabia