Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Outsourcing the war

click here to go to the blogThroughout our dissertation on the Afghan war runs the central theme that the active “shooting war” and the reconstruction programme are not (or should not be) separate activities but an integral part of the whole, the two dovetailing together and feeding off each other.

We have also made the point that restoration of the agricultural base is the key to success: fix the agriculture and you fix the nation, we wrote. To that extent, military priorities – and all others – should be directed at that endeavour.

In this tenth part, we argue that, in terms of policy, however, the reality was that, at the beginning of the reconstruction programme, agriculture was so low down the pecking order that it was not run directly by the US government – or even the Afghani government. Instead - like many of the reconstruction activities in both Iraq and Afghanistan - it has been subcontracted to a private company under contract. In effect, a vital part of winning the war has been outsourced.

Read more on Defence of the Realm

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