There has been a lull in my posts due to an emergency in India. My heart grieves for that family and their loss; I wish them strength in all things to come. In the meantime, I am lucky to be able to spend this time with my own family, since I am often quite far away from them.

This congressional investigation to be released today includes most of the information that I would provide if someone, like Obama, asked me about US programs in Afghanistan.

  • Aid money to stabilize areas is a short-term fix
  • There is little evidence that any positive results are sustainable
  • Enormous cash flows overwhelm and distort local culture and economies
  • There is little oversight, particularly more so in Afghan-run projects, which encourages corruption and mis-use of funds
  • The “single most important step” is to stop paying Afghans “inflated salaries” — often 10 or more times the going rate — to work for foreign governments and contractors

It’s good to see that this information is making it’s way to US policy makers and the public. I just hope they will listen and make changes accordingly.