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Monday, October 12, 2009

USAID official charges Holbrooke Pakistan aid plan flawed. Dissent memo, obtained by POLITICO.

A senior USAID economist has written a formal dissent memo, obtained by POLITICO, which tells senior State Department officials that Special Representative Richard Holbrooke’s Pakistani aid demands are causing turmoil in the U.S. AID mission in Pakistan and are counterproductive for achieving near-term counterinsurgency goals in the country.
Entitled “Dissent memo: Contradictory objectives for USAID/Pakistan program,” the three-page sensitive but unclassified memo, written by career USAID PhD economist C. Stuart Callison, is dated October 2 and addressed to Anne-Marie Slaughter, the Director of the State Department Policy Planning Office.
Callison's memo says the USAID mission in Pakistan is “receiving contradictory objectives from S/SRAP” the State Department Special Representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke.
“On the one hand, it is expected to achieve high impact counterinsurgency and broad-based economic development objectives as quickly as possible," Callison’s memo says. “On the other hand, it is asked to do this by working through national and local government channels ... and not through U.S. contractors and NGOs, to avoid the overhead charges ... and to improve the institutional capacity ... of government agencies and local institutions.” (continues here)

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