Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Afghans say they've heard it all before

For Afghans, the definition of security means freedom from fear and freedom from want. It’s the standard they use to judge their own leaders, and it’s the standard they use to judge the actions of the international community. Right now 41 countries have a military presence under NATO or coalition forces.

Following Sunday’s visit to Afghanistan by President Obama Alan Gomez recorded the following observations from Afghan’s. The article was titled Afghans say they’ve heard it all before.

Over the course of his 60 years in Afghanistan, Ghulam Ghaus has heard promises from an Afghan king, Soviet commanders, mujahedin fighters and Taliban mullahs. Over the last decade, he's heard from two U.S. presidents and countless coalition officials.

So when Ghaus listened to President Obama's speech Sunday night, the Kabul-area farmer was left with a very familiar feeling.

"Many countries have come to help and they've built bridges, roads, schools and hospitals. Many presidents have come and given speeches," Ghaus said. "But what have they done for security?"

Ghaus echoed the sentiments of many Afghans in Kabul on Monday as they responded to Obama's first trip to the war-torn country as president.

Addition Resources:

Donor Financial Review by the Ministry of Finance, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

The international community has pledged $62 billion in grants and loans from 2001-2009. $36 billion has been delivered; the U.S. has been the single largest donor disbursing $23 billion.

Over $29 billion (77 percent of the total disbursed aid) was directly spent by donors with little or no Afghan government input; more than $15 of the $29 billion was disbursed directly by foreign military channels.

Over half of the funds (about $19 billion) have been spent on the security sector, particularly on the police and army.

The government of Afghanistan has received only 23 percent of foreign grants (about $8 billion).

Article: Afghanistan: Money Well Spent?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Afghanistan 101 is a blog of the American Friends Service Committee
215-241-7000 · web@afsc.org