Where is Sam Damon?

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Clinton Calls Years of Afghan Aid 'Heartbreaking' in Their Futility

Although Secretary of State Hillary Rodham has some valid points, where was she on national security and foreign policy during her time in the Senate as the junior senator from New Amsterdam? Besides being a big proponent for the war in Iraq, I don't have any memories of then-Senator Clinton talking about foreign policy besides when she bumbled Russian President Medvedev's name in a debate and dismissed her inability to pronounce it with a, "whatever." Here is an excerpt from the article:
"For those of you who have been on the ground in Afghanistan, you have seen with your own eyes that a lot of these aid programs don't work," she said. "There are so many problems with them. There are problems of design, there are problems of staffing, there are problems of implementation, there are problems of accountability. You just go down the line..."
Speaking to reporters as she flew here to attend a conference to promote the Obama administration's new policy for Afghanistan, Clinton said the ability of the United States to effectively administer aid programs has "very little credibility" among Afghans. Under the new American plan, she said, the United States will limit its aid efforts to areas of expertise while recruiting other countries to take on elements of a coordinated aid effort...
Since 2006, the U.S. Agency for International Development has spent more than $5 billion in Afghanistan, according to figures on the agency's Web site. Clinton oversees USAID, which has boasted a number of success stories, including building hundreds of schools, distributing 60 million textbooks and vaccinating 90 percent of children against polio. But a report by Oxfam last week charged that much of the U.S. aid in Afghanistan is wasted on consulting costs, subcontractor fees and duplication.

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