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Monitor Aid Cash for Afghanistan

Monitor Aid Cash for Afghanistan

The greatest predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour, so don't blame us if we fear another $227 million in Canadian aid to Afghanistan is akin to flushing it down the toilet.


The country has been corrupt for far too long.


A deal reached in Japan over the weekend, announced by Canada's parliamentary defence secretary Christopher Alexander, has a group of U.S.-led international donors, many of them having had troops in that far-off terrorist dustbowl, coughing up $16 billion in additional aid to Afghanistan from 2014 to 2017.


For Canada, this brings the total in new aid to $527 million.


And that's not counting, of course, the cost in blood and sacrifice paid by Canadian forces in fighting the Taliban.


No price can be put on that.


What troubles us, however, is that 80% of that international aid appears guaranteed, no matter what happens, and only 20% is dependent on the funds not falling into the wrong hands in a country where wrong hands are a plague.


The other strings attached include Afghanistan holding free and fair elections, and promoting women's rights in a country where women are treated like chattels with little value.


This is like financing a pipe dream.


According to Alexander, a former Canadian ambassador in Afghanistan before entering politics, Canada's contribution will be earmarked on providing a more equitable and safer future for Afghan women and girls -- an honourable goal, without question, but one which will receive huge pushback from the Taliban.


On the very day all this additional international aid was promised, for example, a horrific new video surfaced showing a 22-year-old Afghan woman being machine-gunned to death by the Taliban for adultery, an in-your-face example of just how expendable and vulnerable Afghan woman remain.


Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who came to power after the overthrow on the Taliban regime in late 2001, has done very little to curb the corruption and violence, a fact that has frustrated the international community in its attempt to defend him.


That being the case, all this new aid coming Karzai's way must be very tightly monitored -- particularly our money.


And not just the money with strings attached, but every single dime.

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