By Carl J. Schramm This article, published in Foreign Affairs Journal, asserts that Washington’s method of reconstructing economies hit by conﬂicts and natural disasters is inadequate. It suggests that US military must build its competence in economics. And the object of economic reconstruction must be part of any successful strategy of invasion, stabilization, and economic reconstruction. The writer calls this expeditionary economics. We are posting this article on our blog for our readers. The United States’ experience with rebuilding economies in the aftermath of conflicts and natural disasters has evidenced serious shortcomings. After seven years of a U.S. presence in Iraq and over nine years in Afghanistan, the economies of those countries continue to falter and underperform. Meanwhile, the damage caused by the earthquake in Haiti early this year revealed deep economic problems, ones that had confronted earlier U.S. efforts to boost Haiti’s economy, and they will plague reconstruction efforts there for a long while.
By Rupert Cornwell Tuesday, 14 July 2009 Published in ‘ Independent’. Why are we asking this now? The CIA is currently embroiled in two controversies that go to the heart of the problems surrounding the world’s largest intelligence agency. It is accused of keeping Congress in the dark about a secret post-9/11 project, on the orders of the former vice-president Dick Cheney and probably in violation of the law. Meanwhile the Justice Department is moving towards a criminal investigation of whether CIA operatives illegally tortured captured terrorist suspects. A rule of thumb about an intelligence service might be: the less you hear about it, the better it’s probably doing its job. Instead, the CIA seems to be eternally in the headlines.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) is convinced that the cost of the insurgency in the Malakand Division has been increased manifold by the shortsightedness and indecisiveness of the non-representative institutions and their policy of appeasing the militants and cohorting with them. While the ongoing military operation had become unavoidable, it was not adopted as a measure of the last resort. Further, the plight of the internally displaced people has been aggravated by lack of planning and coordination by the agencies concerned, and the methods of evacuation of towns/villages and the arrangements for the stranded people have left much to be desired. Based on reports by HRCP activists in the Malakand Division and other parts of NWFP/Pakhtunkhwa, visits to IDP camps by its activists and senior board members, and talks with many displaced people and several Nazims and public figures, the commission has released the following statement on the situation, its conclusions and recommendations:
Paul Rogers The problems faced by Barack Obama’s administration in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq owe much to George W Bush’s catastrophic legacy. (This article was first published on 14 May 2009 in OpenDemocracy) Barack Obama approaches the end of his fourth month in power with the full impact of the legacy of the George W Bush administration across the middle east and south Asia only now becoming clear. The dispute over the publication of over forty photos of maltreated prisoners of the United States held in an earlier period of the post-2001 “war on terror” – in which the president appears to have acceded to the wishes of the army – is but a small index of how inescapable and toxic is this legacy.
Apr 6, 2009 No society that sends its men abroad for war can expect them to come home and be at peace, as returning Iraqi vets are proving in alarming numbers. Wake up, America. The boys are coming home, and they’re not the boys who went away. On New Year’s Day, the New York Times welcomed the advent of 2009 by reporting that, since returning from Iraq, nine members of the Fort Carson, Colorado, Fourth Brigade Combat team had been charged with homicide. Five of the murders they were responsible for took place in 2008 when, in addition, “charges of domestic violence, rape and sexual assault” at the base rose sharply. Some of the murder victims were chosen at random; four were fellow soldiers — all men. Three were wives or girlfriends. This shouldn’t be a surprise. Men sent to Iraq or Afghanistan for two, three, or four tours of duty return to wives who find them “changed” and children they barely know.