Re: Aid for Afghanistan

From: Dossy (
Date: Fri Dec 28 2001 - 16:09:50 MST

On 2001.12.28, Brian D Williams <> wrote:
> It's coming up time to talk about aid for Afghanistan.
> What the U.S. should NOT do:


> What the U.S. should do:
> Work with the government of Afghanistan to determine their needs,
> a power station here, a telecom central office there, a sewage
> treatment plant over there. Then pay U.S. contractors to go over
> and build these things at U.S. expense.

I was told that this is commonplace (perhaps not in war-torn
countries, but in normal industry):

A sponsoring country finances an initial feasibility study
for developing a resource (ore body, water, etc.). Then,
contractors go and develop a "prototype" so to speak. Then,
if that shows promise, a more in-depth feasibility study is
performed (again, at the cost of the sponsoring country).
If everything checks out, then the recipient country grants
the work effort to the sponsoring country (that did all the
initial up-front investment to do analysis) and that a large
percentage of the work be "bought from" the sponsoring
country's contractors.

So, if the United States wants to get "work" out of Afghanistan,
it should pony up the initial pennies to send some bright people
over to examine the country (natural resources, population
centers with regard to geography, etc.) and put together some
feasibility studies and evaluations and recommendations. If
they do a good job, then perhaps they'll earn the business.

(Note: This does not have to be a "government" activity --
businesses in the private sector should also be welcome to
go and do these activities, to try and nail down more and
new business.)

> Food aid will be required till at least next fall, so a primary
> concern of the new government should be the spring planting. There has
> been a drought recently, but I see plenty of rivers flowing, so
> perhaps the first aid should include irrigation equipment/technology.

Maybe I'm putting the cart before the horse, but importing processed
foods is simple enough. Distribution is always a big problem.

Perhaps building "warehouse club" type supermarkets in high population
centers and creating an importing infrastructure would be a wiser
way to go?

You'd need construction workers (local labor could yield low
cost), engineers, IT professionals and an assortment of other
miscellaneous skilled workers ... but in the current economic
state of the US with regard to unemployed skilled workers,
these people should be easy to come by.

-- Dossy

Dossy Shiobara                       mail: 
Panoptic Computer Network             web: 
  "He realized the fastest way to change is to laugh at your own
    folly -- then you can let go and quickly move on." (p. 70)

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b30 : Sat May 11 2002 - 17:44:32 MDT