Reconstruction in Afghanistan
'Reconstruction of Afghanistan' refers to the efforts by various parties, including supranational organizations, the Afghan government, the US government and other foreign governments, and civilians, to improve Afghanistan's governance as well as physical buildings and infrastructure. These efforts include training civil administrators, improving essential services and public safety, supporting civil society and self-determination, and promoting the rule of law and economic development. After more than two decades of war and unrest in Afghanistan, reconstruction efforts continue to be hampered by the ongoing conflicts.
The reconstruction process of Afghanistan began in 2002. Many of these projects are being supervised by the Provincial Reconstruction Teams. The World Bank contribution is the multilateral Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund (ARTF), which was set up in 2002, by the ideas of Noor Rahman Liwal. There are more than 14,000 reconstruction projects under way in Afghanistan, such as the Kajaki and the Salma Dam. It is financed by 24 international donor countries and has spent more than $1.37 billion as of 2007. Approximately 30 billion dollars have been provided by the international community for the reconstruction of Afghanistan, most of it from the United States. In 2002, the world community allocated $4 billion at the Tokyo conference followed by another $4 billion in 2004. In February 2006, $10.5 billion were committed for Afghanistan at the London Conference and $11 billion from the United States in early 2007. Despite these vast investments by the international community, the reconstruction effort's results have been mixed. Implementation of development projects at the district and sub-district level has been frequently marred by lack of coordination, knowledge of local conditions, and sound planning on the side of international donors as well as by corruption and inefficiency on the side of Afghan government officials. On the provincial and national level, projects such as the National Solidarity Programme, inter-provincial road construction, and the US-led revamping of rural health services have met with more success.
The United States has poured tens of billions of dollars into the reconstruction effort. It has established the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction to provide oversight. This office is presently headed by John Sopko. In September Sopko said in connexion with the effort, "all I'm seeing is a modus operandi that's woefully out of touch at best, and delusional at worst". He also said, "It seems that time and again, people have to be reminded that Afghanistan is not Kansas". He complained that many people, especially at USAID, design programmes "without considering the fact that you have a tribal government, that you have a criminal element there". He said that although 8 billion dollars had been spent combatting the narcotics trade, he thought the effort overall was an abject failure. More acres are growing opium, more opium is being produced, there are tighter relationships between the opium traffickers and the terrorists (who are getting more money), and there are more Afghan addicts. But American officials consider it a success because they have trained a certain number of narcotics police, prosecutors, et cetera.
Kazakhstan is providing food and development assistance to Afghanistan. Kazakhstan has delivered $20 million worth food products since 2002 and $50 million in scholarships for Afghan students to study in Kazakhstan. Multiple countries in NATO have also contributed to assistance.
Protection payments to Taliban
According to the lawsuit, filed in December 2019 in the D.C. District Court on behalf of Gold Star families, U.S. contractors involved in Afghanistan reconstruction projects, including Louis Berger Group and Development Alternatives Incorporated, made illegal "protection payments" to the Taliban, funding a "Taliban-led terrorist insurgency" that killed or wounded thousands of Americans in Afghanistan. A related lawsuit accused the Iranian government. In 2009, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the "protection money" was "one of the major sources of funding for the Taliban."
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- Shirzad, Fazalrabi; Nusra, Rabia (February 2018). "Investment in infrastructure and employment in Afghanistan — Review of past and present investment plans" (PDF). The Liaison Office and International Alert. March 2018: 1–43.
- "Kazakhstan, Afghanistan to intensify economic co-op". TrendAz.
- McNerney, Michael J. (Winter 2005–2006). "Stabilization and Reconstruction in Afghanistan: Are PRTs a Model or a Muddle?" (PDF). Parameters: 32–46.
- "IMF and Afghanistan's other Donors and Creditors: Stop The Afghanistan Debt And Aid Trap To Save Millions Of Innocent Lives Worldwide". NoorRahmanLiwal/#StopTheAfghanistanDebtTrap. Retrieved 15 May 2020.
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- "Government to have greater control over aid pledged in London". IRIN Asia. Retrieved 2009-03-13.
- Afghanistan: Ring Road's Completion Would Benefit Entire Region
- Road reconstruction map
- BBC Newshour, Sept. 21, 2015.
- "Kazakhstan, Afghanistan to intensify economic co-op". trendaz.
- "Families of Afghan war dead say contractors bribed Taliban". Stars and Stripes. December 27, 2019.
- "US contractors sued for allegedly paying 'protection money' to the Taliban in Afghanistan". CNBC. December 27, 2019.
- "Gold Star Families Sue Defense Contractors, Alleging They Funded The Taliban". NPR. December 28, 2019.
- "Lawsuit Accusing Contractors of Paying Protection Money to Taliban Is Expanded". The Wall Street Journal. June 8, 2020.
- "Gold Star family lawsuit alleges contractors in Afghanistan funneled money to the Taliban". CNN. December 28, 2019.