The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has wasted millions of dollars on projects in Afghanistan that, among other things, helped the Taliban.
Many USAID projects were intended to “stabilize” the country and demonstrate to the local populace that they should support the U.S.-backed Afghan government. But an internal investigation (pdf) of USAID efforts in the war-torn country found that many of them had the opposite result.
For instance, “villagers believed that the projects would not have been allowed to take place without the Taliban’s approval, and so their support for the Taliban, rather than for the United States or the Afghan government, actually increased because of the aid,” The New York Times reported.
The authors of the study, Management Systems International, an agency contractor, said “stabilization programming actually had the perverse effect of increasing support for the Taliban in Taliban-controlled villages.”
In other cases, USAID did such a poor job of managing its projects that Taliban leaders were able to successfully submit requests through intermediaries for American aid projects for villages under their control. The study also found that USAID’s targeting of some villages not under Taliban control resulted in increased violence from the Taliban.
One American official told USAID that it was difficult to evaluate the agency’s work because they couldn’t go out and examine them, due to security concerns.
Another official said: “The money is going out, but it’s hard to track. A lot of projects got captured by Afghans who steered aid to where they…