“Want a billion dollars in development aid?,” writes Pratap Chaterjee in an excellent new piece on the future of Afghanistan. “If you happen to live in Afghanistan, the two quickest ways to attract attention and so aid from the U.S. authorities are: Taliban attacks or a flourishing opium trade. For those with neither, the future could be bleak.”
Chaterjee writes of his recent travels in Afghanistan for TomDispatch and, focusing on a single province, illuminates a terrible imbalance: “With Pentagon expenditures in Afghanistan running at about $36 billion a year, the annual aid allocation for the 387,000 people who live in Bamiyan Province,” he writes, “is outstripped every single hour by the money spent on 30,000-plus American troops and their weaponry.
Don’t miss Chaterjee’s excellent dispatch.