What is state failure? See my conceptualisation of state failure on the right flank below.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The contracts officer: Updates

1.) Are only NGOs paying the Taliban? Have the Italians paid as well? How about others? Rumours are going to be swirling around now. The story of the French naively entering the Uzbeen valley is untrue, though. They went there knowing of the insurgent presence in the area, they even had information of militants who had crossed over from Pakistan. So part of these rumours is certainly manufactured to be a dark tale...
2.) Else. I presented a scheme of how far civilians of different organisational affiliation can get out in the Afghan "risk space." I wrote there that NGO staff is the most restricted, because of a lack of readiness to work with militaries. This assertion did not take account of the obvious possibility of paying for increased access, which seems to be a common practice in fact. Although one has to add that in most of the projects I am familiar with, whether bribes were used or not it was only a local employee of the NGOs concerned who was allowed to venture to the project's site, at best. But in some cases there was not even that degree of control, and contractors were just doing stuff they were paid for, on their own. (I will soon revisit the issue of civilians in Afghanistan by the way...)

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