In The News

Donor Community Must Allow Afghans to Assume Control

August 5, 2009

“In 2001, when foreign militaries – including the American, Belgian, British, Canadian, Danish, German, Italian, and Turkish – entered the country, Afghans welcomed them warmly, strewing flowers as they passed through towns and villages. There was widespread hope that the country would finally see peace and stability after decades of war.

Eight years later however, there is still a consistent failure to establish suitable and effective mechanisms for security and development. Both security assistance and development assistance have taken a short term view – primarily addressing immediate and acute problems rather than identifying and responding to underlying weaknesses. Such a “quick fix” approach has cost time and popular support, and has wasted resources and opportunities. Creation of a parallel governance structure has undermined national authority, inhibited national initiative, weakened security, and slowed development. Prospects of sustainable development are slim.” Read the full article.

Fazel Rabi Haqbeen is The Asia Foundation’s Senior Program Officer in Afghanistan. He can be reached at fhaqbeen@asiafound.org. Below is an excerpt of an article that he wrote on the international community’s role in development in Afghanistan as a Visiting Fellow with the Regional Voices program at the Stimson Center.

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