CGD in the News

US Assistance: Differing Perceptions (International Herald Tribune)

May 23, 2011

CGD was mentioned in an opinion piece in the International Herald Tribune about Pakistan.

From the Article

In Pakistan also, there are several viewpoints about the efficacy and impact of US aid. A large number of Pakistanis are deeply resentful that the US has been able to obtain a disproportionate leverage on Pakistan’s policy space because of this paltry sum. The sovereign autonomy and dignity has been sacrificed and the country has been relegated to the status of a client state or ‘rent-a-state’. The long-term stability of the country is at risk because of this painful obsequiousness and submissive alliance.

ther group believes that by entangling in the war on terror, Pakistan has suffered enormous losses financially, economically, socially and psychologically and the compensation being paid by the US for this colossal damage amounts to almost nothing. It is estimated that during 2000-10, the US spent Rs2,000 billion in Afghanistan, Iraq and on beefing up domestic security. Pakistan’s share of this amount was Rs20 billion or 0.1 per cent, while the country has lost 35,000 civilians and soldiers, in addition to suffering disruption and dislocation of the economy, displacement of population, a several-fold increase in expenditure on military operations and internal security, almost virtual boycott of Pakistan by external visitors and a state of perpetual fear, etc. Out of the amount received, Rs8 billion under the Coalition Support Fund was simply reimbursement of the expenditures incurred on logistical support and supplies to Nato and US troops. A third group believes that despite the late Mr Holbrooke and Secretary Clinton’s best efforts, the divergence between the development priorities of the government of Pakistan and US aid remains wide. This is borne out by the report of the Centre for Global Development — the leading US think-tank on development issues (Note: I must disclose that I was a member of the Study Group that produced this Report). In assessing US assistance to Pakistan, the report notes that “the integration of development, diplomacy and defence has muddled the development mission and left the programme without a clear, focused mandate. The Kerry-Lugar legislation lists no fewer than 11 different objectives of US policy. As a result, the aid decisions are too often politicised and subject to short-term pressures. Overall, the programme ends up trying to do too much, too quickly.”

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