Money As a Weapon System Afghanistan (MAAWS-A)

  • Share
  • Read Later

Hard to believe – or maybe it isn’t – but that’s the title (complete with unpronounceable abbreviation) of a new, 268-page guidebook for U.S. commanders in Afghanistan. It tells them how to spend your hard-earned Commanders Emergency Response Program (CERP) dollars. Those are payments, usually in the thousands, but sometimes topping $1 million, to local Afghan officials to help them develop their economy. “Precise application of CERP spending will increase its positive humanitarian impact and mitigate the potential economic slowdown resulting from force reductions and other policy actions,” it says.

There are some disquieting notes: “Act now. Time is not on our side,” it advises. “Think in terms of months and not fiscal years. We must maintain the momentum of our efforts.” Fair enough. But after a decade of handing out some $3 billion in such funds, can’t we at least stop calling them emergency (“Emergency, noun: a sudden, urgent, usually unexpected occurrence or occasion requiring immediate action”) payments? How about something more accurate, like graft accelerant? (h/t Public Intelligence)