IMF, USAID, & Afghanistan (by George Monbiot)

Yoshie Furuhashi furuhashi.1 at
Thu Feb 14 08:03:22 MST 2002

The Guardian (London)
February 12, 2002
SECTION: Guardian Leader Pages, Pg. 17
LENGTH: 1192 words
HEADLINE: Comment & Analysis: America's imperial war: The liberals
who backed the Afghan bombing are now lined up with rampant US
BYLINE: George Monbiot

...On January 29, the IMF's assistant director for monetary and
exchange affairs suggested that the country should abandon its
currency and adopt the dollar instead.  This would, he explained, be
a "temporary" measure, though, he conceded, "when an economy
dollarises, it takes a little while to undollarise".  The day before,
the administrator of the US Agency for International Development
revealed that part of its aid package to Afghan farmers would take
the form of GM seed.

Both Hamid Karzai, the interim president, and Zalmay Khalilzad, the
US special envoy, were formerly employed as consultants to Unocal,
the US oil company which spent much of the 1990s seeking to build a
pipeline through Afghanistan. Unocal appears to have dropped the
scheme, but smaller companies (such as Chase Energy and Caspian
Energy Consulting) are now lobbying for its revival.  In October the
president of Turkmenistan wrote to the United Nations, pressing for
the pipeline's construction.

More importantly, the temporary US bases in Afghanistan, Pakistan and
the Caspian states appear to be putting down roots. US military "tent
cities" have now been established in 13 places in the states
bordering Afghanistan.  New airports are being built and garrisons
expanded.  In December, the US assistant secretary of state Elizabeth
Jones promised that "when the Afghan conflict is over we will not
leave central Asia.  We have long-term plans and interests in this

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