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

May 9, 2011

Why are we providing some $1.5 billion per year in development assistance to a country that couldn’t be bothered to find bin Laden? Now that Osama is dead, what the heck are we still doing in Pakistan?

On this special edition of the Global Prosperity Wonkcast I asked these provocative questions of Nancy Birdsall, president of the Center for Global Development. For the past year, Nancy has led a high-level study group evaluating the U.S. development strategy in Pakistan, and has written a series of open letters. One of the main themes of the work has been that the United States should be modest and cautious about what development aid to Pakistan can achieve. Nonetheless, following a recent trip to Pakistan, and notwithstanding U.S. suspicions that elements of Pakistan’s security forces might have been complicit in hiding Bin Laden, Nancy maintains that sustaining aid to Pakistan is in the United States’ own national interest.

For a full summary of this week's wonkcast go to