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Fort Apache, Afghanistan

| 8 Comments | 1 TrackBack
JK: Interesting developments, conveyed via email from Trent Telenko. See also Winds of Change.NET's previous coverage of the U.S. Marines' experiences with Small Wars, and especially their Combined Action Platoon program in Vietnam. This program is reminiscent of both. It's also another step toward the Cuban paramilitary aid model I've been advocating. On the flip side, U.S. casualties will rise in Afghanistan. Expect the hysteria to begin soon afterward. Ft. Apache, Afghanistan by Trent Telenko A number of Afghans have called for the expansion of US Army Provincial Reconstruction Teams into Pashtun dominated Southern Afghanistan. They're about to get their wish, as part of Lt. Gen. David Barno's next phase strategy for that war. A series of (isolated and soon to be overworked) PRTs are to be set up in the South along the Afghan-Pakistani border. These mini-Ft. Apaches are going to be staked goats to draw in the Taliban. Whether they are going to bleeding ulcers (for both sides?) or anvils for the Jihadies to break their collective heads against will soon be found out. BTW, the American military does not think much of the NGO bug out that is underway in Afghanistan that caused this PRT move:
"Aid groups worry that their attempts to remain independent in the eyes of Afghans, including Taliban sympathizers, has been compromised by U.S. involvement in delivering assistance. But Barno suggested it was time for relief groups to accept that they could not be neutral after a stream of deliberate attacks on de-miners and well-diggers, and said he hoped aid workers would return to Pashtun areas. "They probably have to, and they are, realizing that they are now operating in a different world," he said."
They do, and most have chosen to be hostile. As Exhibit A, please compare and contrast what these international NGOs did in the just as dangerous Somalia after the UN armed aid mission left, and compare it to the bug outs from Iraq and Afghanistan. I have said numerous times over on Winds of Change that international aid NGOs are parasites on international disorder, and that the American military's mission to eliminate that disorder made the American military the NGOs' enemy. For the American military to fulfill its mission means the elimination of the work international NGOs do. Previous articles here on Winds have noted: * Amnesty's Moral Bankruptcy * Silence from Amnesty & Human Rights Watch The U.S. Military has noticed, too, as I mentioned in these 2 articles: * U.S. Military - Back to the Future! * US to International NGOs -- Drop Dead In the face of NGOs who would rather oppose America than do their jobs, the U.S. military is drawing the appropriate lessons as predicted. In short, the American military and government is learning from both defeats and victories and applying those lessons to the current battlefield. The same cannot be said of our enemies � a roster that includes most international NGOs.

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Tracked: December 22, 2003 5:56 PM
Excerpt: I have said numerous times over on Winds of Change that international aid NGOs are parasites on international disorder, and...

8 Comments

I'm missing the part where, you know, actual evidence is presented to show that international NGOs are uniformly bad and inhibit reconstruction.

You apparently failed to click the links, Mr. praktike.

First of all, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are advocacy organizations. They aren't in the business of nation-building.

I read the links. As it understand it, Trent was saying that the US Military would be taking over many if not all of the functions of international NGOs. He took issue with the NGO stance that they needed to be seen as independent of the US. But I didn't see Trent make the case that these groups were ineffective.

Maybe there's a convincing case that the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, and all the other NGOs are counterproductive, but this wasn't it.

Finally, let me stress that no matter who's doing it, nation-building is very difficult. Any effort takes time and encounters setbacks. Anyone who has been involved in reform initiative here in the US can understand that fundamental change happens slowly.

Praktike,

Watching you squirm and move the goal posts when you were confronted with the information directly in front of you is worth the price of admission.

The additional Afghanistan PRTs are a direct result of the international NGOs like the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, etc. running like scalded dogs. Point in fact, they ran from Iraq with a lesser threat than Afghanistan. (Everywhere outside Baghdad and the Sunni triangle they were safe.) In both cases the NGOs are running from a security situation either identical or better than Somalia after the UN left, where the NGOs lost people to mobs and to kidnap for cash schemes on a regular basis.

So on its face, there bugging out of both places on grounds of "danger" is absurd. We know that because in Somalia the top International NGO bureaucrats are not losing their jobs for losing their people or property to disorder.

Den Beste makes the case in a link found in Joe's "Amnesty's Moral Bankruptcy" link above that the real reason is financial. That the bureaucratic fund raising suits running these organizations are pandering to their leftist contributor lists in being openly anti-American. I agree with Den Beste that it is a strong motive, but it is not the only strong motive. It may even be secondary motive.

It is a well-known fact to the Israelis that the UN and other international NGOs including the Red Cross/Red Crescent are being used as cover for Islamist terrorist activities. The same is true of all the Arab and many international media outlets that use Palestinian and other terrorist connected local factors to navigate these 3rd world hellholes. The French news agency photos of the DHL airliner attacked by a shoulder fired missile make that very clear in the latter case.

The managers of these international NGOs are well aware of this presence. Witness the UN bureaucrats public excuses in the aftermath of the IDF over running the Jennen (sp?) refugee camp.

The absence of the U.N. to protect/provide diplomatic cover for these international NGOs leaves them exposed and subject to arrest, indefinite detention, and interrogation by the American military and civilian counter-intelligence.

The suits running these international NGOs know this too. That is why they left with the U.N. Having their organizations named by the American government as “terrorist supporting” based on captured terrorist “NGO employees” will get their US assets seized and their tax exempt status revoked. That definitely will get the suits fired, so they “boot scooted” to avoid the possibility.

You're right about the PRTs - I recently spent a month in Afghanistan working in contracting with USAID, and the PRT strategy, although probably they only way to actually get reconstruction started in these regions, is fraught with danger and loads of potential for problems. One big issue is how to staff the PRTs and with whom? Civilians? Military? A big chunk of the $ is foriegn aid so it can't legally be spent on military support even though you have to have it to work in these areas. I was trying to recruit for folks to fill some of these slots when I was there and go no responses.

As for the NGO issue - I agree - however, in regard to what USAID is doing there no money is going to Amnesty or the Red Cross that I know of. The major $ is going to private sector companies (road construction, hospitals, schools, etc.) which, by the way, has typically been money well-spent. On the NGO front, lots of smaller and much less well known NGOs are getting the bulk of the grant money, and these NGOs typically have a technical specialty like agriculture, irrigation, construction, medical, education, etc.

By the way, the most successful NGOs in the country are the religiously affiliated groups like Shelter for Life, World Vision, Samaritian's Purse, etc. These folks are all about putting their lives on the lines for the Afghan people, and US tax dollars are well spent with these groups.

Also, a significant portion of the Afghanistan money is going to UN-related agencies, not always money well spent - I can assure you.

Kyle,

Religiously motivate NGOs are by definition not the International NGOs I am honked off at. If their motivations are religious, they don't care about American policies. They are too busy saving souls through good works.

If they are worked up about American politics to play games with American policy implimentation, they aren't religious. They are the problem.

Articles like the following define what I speak of as the "Great NGO Moral Melt Down":

How money vanishes in the black hole of aid for aid's sake
Daily Telegraph
09/07/2002
Nick Gordon

http://www.opinion.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=/opinion/2002/07/09/do0901.xml

Spot the Consultant is a favourite game of mine when I am working in Africa. It's easy to play, mildly entertaining, and passes an idle evening alone in a downtown bar in an end-of-the-line, ramshackle city.

Here are a few clues: consultants, who are largely white and drawn from the EU and America, always go round in twos and threes. You'll find them at posh restaurants in Third World capitals, where the cost of the a la carte menu is the equivalent of a month's wages for the locals. You'll see them hunched over their table devouring lavish meals while complaining about the way the wine is kept; you'll know them for sure by listening to their conversation, constructed around a relentless series of rants: about the people they work with, the organisation that has dispatched them to this grim place, the inadequacies of their per diem, the shortcomings of the hotel, and the indignity of having to fly economy.

The set-up will be no different at the Barcelona Aids conference, where Dr Banu Khan, head of the Botswana Aids Co-ordinating Agency, said his country faced extinction without further international help. One wonders how many suffering Africans might have been looked after if the money spent on the lavish conference had instead gone straight to them.

I have been a consultant in most parts of Africa and worked out what it is that consultants actually do. To put it crudely, they come as part of the aid package. They are cogs in the great billion-dollar aid machine and their remit is to ensure that aid is spent wisely and that developing world governments do not rip off the money that comes their way.

In Zambia recently, my task was to see if an independent newspaper was viable: could it be commercially successful? Was it managed well, and was its journalism truly objective? I was funded by the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, an organisation based in London with close links to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and both Houses of Parliament.

(snip)

Gordon went on in the article talking about his efforts to save "The Monitor" a local paper funded by WFD by arranging for a cheaper, local publisher versus the foreign one being used. These were the results:

I went away smiling and found a press capable of printing text books and a newspaper. The Monitor could be saved and would live to fight another set of corrupt politicians, and the millions of dollars that were earmarked for printing text books would circulate within Zambia.

But that was wishful thinking on my part. I wrote my report, submitted it in March 2001, followed it up with a visit to the Westminster Foundation for Democracy offices in London, and heard absolutely nothing. "We're into small projects," the WFD said. "This is too big for us."

So, 15 months later, millions of dollars are still leaking out of Zambia, the delivery of text books is haphazard, the Monitor is just about limping along and, I suspect, no one in the FCO, the Department for International Development or any other relevant agency has even bothered to read the report.

Kyle,

This is another article that shaped my extremely low opinion of "Name" international NGOs:

http://www.imra.org.il/story.php3?id=12371

Friday, June 7, 2002
AUSTRALIA FINANCIAL REV: NGOs -- Propaganda vs. humanitarianism

GERALD M. STEINBERG

The term “non-governmental organization” (NGO) usually evokes images of altruism and compassion, particularly among the anti-globalization crowd that believes that states, and the politicians who run them, are flawed and their actions need to be tempered. NGOs are supposed to speak up for the weak and drowntrodden, and to promote the rights of individual and minorities.

In this spirit, tens of thousands of NGOs have sprung up, concentrating on environmental issues, human rights, humanitarian relief, and campaigns against dangerous weapons such as landmines and small arms. These groups are well funded, and use their generous budgets to promote themselves and their causes. The largest and richest NGOs, such as Greenpeace, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Oxfam have become well-known brand names, and the major figures in these groups are more powerful than many government officials.

At the same time, in many cases, these organizations have themselves added to injustice and duplicity, particularly in the Middle East. Like the United Nations and its affiliate, UNRWA, prominent NGOs have become captured by the pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel lobby. These organizations played a major role in last year’s infamous Durban conference last year that was supposed to fight racism but ended up contributing to hatred of Israel and anti-Semitism. Similarly, the myths of the “Jenin massacre” were propelled by NGOs such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Oxfam, Physicians for Human Rights (the list is much longer) and their biased and unverified reports were picked up and repeated by the media.

To make matters worse, much of the funding for these “non-governmental” organizations actually comes from governments. Large allocations from income generated by government taxes is provided to NGOs, supposedly for “humanitarian” projects, allowing politicians and officials to promote their private agendas through the back door. The practice is widespread in Europe, Australia and Canada as a means of increasing visibility and impact in the UN and international organizations, while also advancing the careers of the politicians involved. The European Union spends as much as fifteen percent of its total budget in support for NGOs, and prominent organizations have budgets of hundreds of millions of dollars.

Most of these groups operate with an even more appalling lack of transparency and accountability than the governments that they criticize for precisely these failings. The tens of millions of dollars spent on projects funneled through NGOs and labeled simply and ambiguously as “humanitarian aid projects” or “peace support” do not receive the scrutiny of direct spending by government ministries. The results are rarely subject to external evaluation, and the annual allocations keep flowing, regardless of whether there is any impact. In the Middle East, huge amounts of international humanitarian aid to the Palestinian refugees has failed to provide any change in the situation, and most of the money has disappeared.

So you see, international "Name" NGOs are the ground troops for the Transnational Progressive ideology and are by definition an enemy of America in winning the war against international terrorism.

Dear sir i want Aid for Afghanistan

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