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International development experts share their ideas on how wealthy countries can promote prosperity in developing countries. Follow at

Nov 29, 2011

The U.S. military has become increasingly involved in economic development, fulfilling roles normally played by USAID and other development NGOs. My guests this week, senior fellow Vijaya Ramachandran and research assistant Julie Walz, discuss their recent paper written with Gregory Johnson on the Commander’s Emergency Response Program (CERP), which provides funds for development projects in Afghanistan as part of the military’s development operations. While Vij and Julie are not advocating for or against military involvement in development, they recognize its occurrence and offer practical recommendations.

“The military’s role in development work is a very interesting phenomenon,” explains Vij. “The U.S. military has substantially changed the way it has done business. Since 2002, they have allocated nearly 2 billion dollars to relief and reconstruction in Afghanistan alone.”

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