Hooray for shock therapy in Afghanistan:
Senior British, US and local aid workers have described a number of problems [with reconstruction in Afghanistan] including bribery, profiteering, poor planning and incompetence. The overall effect has been to cripple the development effort structured under the Bush administration’s insistence on an unregulated and profit-driven approach to reconstruction.
“The major donor agencies operate on the mistaken assumption that it’s more efficient and profitable to do things through market mechanisms,” a senior American contractor working in Afghanistan told the Guardian on condition of anonymity. “The notion of big government is a spectre for American conservatives and this [the reconstruction process] is an American conservative project.”
The contractor said the “original plan was to get in, prop up Karzai, kill al-Qaida, privatise all government-owned enterprises and get out. It wasn’t a development project, that wasn’t a concern. Development was an afterthought.
The Graun calls this “poor planning and incompetence.” Sorry, but “an unregulated and profit-driven approach to reconstruction” may be indeed reflect willful indifference and a shoddy understanding of what proper reconstruction of a failed state actually entails. But it goes well beyond ‘poor planning and incompetence;’ This is outright criminal negligence on the part of pathologically obsessive free-market ideologues who didn’t give a good goddamn about cleaning up the mess they made.
In other words, textbook disaster capitalism.