Following the September 11 terrorist attacks the United States has revamped many of its foreign aid programs. Prior to that date the administration's top foreign aid initiatives for the 2002 fiscal year had been combating the spread of HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, fighting poverty, broadening the public/private partnership in aid programming, and expanding the counter-narcotics campaign in the Andean region. These issues, while still a concern, have taken a back seat to the war on terrorism. While Pakistan and the Central Asian Republics are to be major new recipients of aid, Afghanistan will be by far the largest beneficiary of terrorism related assistance. Specifically, the United States and other Western nations have promised to essentially underwrite Afghanistan's recovery from two decades of drought, war and dislocation. This document examines the United States lead in an international effort to rebuild Afghanistan on the model of the Marshall Plan for Europe after World War II. The price will not be cheap. Initial studies suggested that the "going rate" for comparable nation-building exercises is about one billion dollars for every one million people. Including the four million Afghans living outside its borders, Afghanistan has a population of about 25 million.
Naval Postgraduate School, Center for Contemporary Conflict: http://www.ccc.nps.navy.mil
Strategic Insights (June 2002), v.1 no.4