"I think we should definitely keep giving help to Afghanistan”by Bronwen Maddox / March 26, 2015 / Leave a comment
Published in April 2015 issue of Prospect Magazine
I think we should definitely keep giving help to Afghanistan,” said Paul Wolfowitz. “Unfortunately, the question” of whether Congress will agree to that “is a good one.”
“It’s not only money, it’s the message it would send if we abandon them. Having said that, I know how American taxpayers feel about having to foot the bill. I wish we had long ago gone to some of the other countries who have a stake in the outcome to spread the burden.”
Wolfowitz, United States Deputy Secretary of Defence from 2001 to 2005, was one of the leading neo-conservatives behind George W Bush at the time of the Iraq invasion. He was one of those apparently most confident about the capacity of the US to change a regime and to bring democracy to a country, although the popular caricature, which portrayed the group as eager to launch a war and naive about its effects, has obscured the nuance and idealism in his analysis. He brought those ideals about the properly high ambitions for development to the World Bank when he became its President in 2005, although opposition to his appointment from leading economists, controversy over Iraq, rows among bank members over his anti-corruption drive and disputes over his personal relationship with a bank colleague contributed to his sudden departure after two years.
The point of talking to him now is partly because Ukraine and the continuing turmoil of the Middle East raise the question of whether we can ever intervene successfully or whether, after Iraq and Afghanistan, we should jettison those old hopes. It is also because, although he spoke to Prospect in a personal capacity, he has become an advisor on foreign policy to Jeb Bush, brother of George W, who announced in December he was exploring whether to contest the Republican nomination for President in 2016.