FAO Quotables

"But being right, even morally right, isn't everything. It is also important to be competent, to be consistent, and to be knowledgeable. It's important for your soldiers and diplomats to speak the language of the people you want to influence. It's important to understand the ethnic and tribal divisions of the place you hope to assist."
-Anne Applebaum

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My comments on one aspect of Abu Muqawama's Cricket Post


Does Mom and Pop America hold back on their charitable giving to Pakistan because of allegations of terrorism and corruption? To answer this question I would first ask: Can Mom and Pop America find Pakistan on map? I would proffer that the answer is NO. The details surrounding Pakistan governance (and the global effects of an unstable government) sadly aren't even on the radar screen of the majority of Americans.
I would further question how much the P-stan government cares (by care I mean- makes it a priority) about the amount of relief rolling in, beyond rhetoric. The press highlights the disparity between United States giving to P-stan vice Haiti, but let's be honest, corrupt and inept or not, the U.S. is still selling P-stan TONS of military equipment and it's going to continue to do so, whether they cheat at cricket, or swindle away the millions in relief which they receive. An even cursory examination of our aid to Africa since the 60's reveals that the United States' aid (and the world's for that matter) is NOT tied to any corruption stop-gaps but rather to short-sighted (and/or self-serving)diplomatic goals (our aid to despots Idi Amin, Mobutu Sese Seko, Mengistu, and Samuel Doe stand as a few glaring examples).
What I want everyone to tuck away in their GI JOE lunch boxes today is that there is a chasmic disconnect within our foreign policy, specifically with regard to how we leverage and assess our military sales, official foreign aid, and private enterprise aid/assistance in the light of long-term diplomatic goals and endemic, rampant corruption with almost every one of those countries. And while I may mock Mom and Pop America's chasmic lack of global situational awareness, the Holy Trinity continues to leap and skip just as cluelessly along the precipice of this bottomless chasm.

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