Money as a Nuclear Weapon

Friday’s Last Word – Pull Pin, Throw Grenade, Run Away: A provocative thought to kick off the weekend…

By Major Matt Cavanaugh

In Iraq and Afghanistan, one commonly heard phrase was to “employ money as a weapon system.”  The idea was a simple one in Iraq – if you can get what you want with a dinar or dollar as opposed to a bullet – that is clearly preferable.  This tracks with common sense.  My Dad used to tell me that if you’ve got a problem and a check that can cover that problem – then you don’t have a problem.  Supporting military counterinsurgency techniques with financial resources designed to connect the people to their established government makes sense. 

So how did we (the U.S. and the rest of the International Security Assistance Force) screw it up so badly in Afghanistan?  Simply put, we nuked the Afghan economy – we drowned the baby in bathwater.  To say that we overdid aid would be a massive understatement.

Read More