In a post to the Democracy Arsenal blog, I discuss USAID’s plans to ignore CaquetÃ¡ department completely, even while the “Plan Patriota” military offensive continues there. It seems to say a lot about how little the U.S. government understands the challenge of dealing with insurgencies.
Does USAID really mean to say that it will only invest in zones where the economy is already viable and where guerrilla presence is low? Does the United States make similar choices in Iraq, too? (”Forget about the Sunni Triangle, let’s get the electricity flowing in the few towns where the locals are happy to have us.”) If so, that would explain quite a bit.