June 24th, 2011
10:59 AM ET

Karzai on U.S. aid to Afghanistan

Editor's Note: Tune in to "Fareed Zakaria GPS" this Sunday at 10 a.m. ET for an exclusive and rare interview with the President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai. The following is a transcript of an excerpt of that interview.

Fareed Zakaria: You understand the frustration of the American taxpayer who sees that the United States has disbursed $16 billion to Afghanistan in developmental aid over the last 10 years and does not seem to see enough in return for it? The money does not seem to have achieved much.

Hamid: The money, where it was invested directly has achieved. The United States has built roads for us. The United States has built schools and clinics for us.

But the United States has not invested in major infrastructure projects for us like dams and electricity that we can produce of our own. We have an argument about that.

Afghanistan has made its point of view very, very clear. For example, a project in Kandahar for the production of electricity where the U.S. government spent $250 million on providing generators, we disagreed with. We felt that this money could be spent better by building a dam in that region that would give a lasting, sustainable economic environment to the people of the region.

So, if the investment of the United States is done in consultation with Afghanistan and based on Afghan priorities, it will produce a lot better results.

We are grateful to every penny that the U.S. taxpayer has given to Afghanistan. Afghanistan will account for that part of the taxpayer's money that the Afghan government has spent.

Where we are in charge, we are accountable and we are grateful immensely for the U.S. taxpayer's money. They’re a hardworking people and that has to be respected.

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Topics: Afghanistan • Aid • Development • From Fareed

soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. GOPisGreedOverPeople

    But we force our elderly to eat dog food and go without medication.

    June 24, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Reply
  2. CutOffAllAid

    To them. Give them 16 billion and they still complain. Protect them and they complain. Let's just get the fuck out.

    June 24, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Reply
    • j. von hettlingen

      "The money, where it was invested directly has achieved. The United States has built roads for us. The United States has built schools and clinics for us."
      All these couldn't have cost 16 billion Where's the rest of the money?

      June 24, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Reply
  3. Abba Yakubu

    Afghan President was right by all his responses including responsibility for Afghanistan security, economy and general development. Again, where there is transparency even beggars have choice. In a single instance out of hundreds, I am guessing that refurbished power generation units (GE?) at some huge cost were delivered as a short term unsustainable solution. The US should have known better. Bottom line is there was, there is and there will be no sincerity in the very many interventions by the US across the world. Pls draw-down the troops in areas of vested 'interest' and take them to places in Africa with no obvious states.

    June 26, 2011 at 9:13 am | Reply
  4. Abba Yakubu

    *..with no obvious staKes.

    June 26, 2011 at 9:18 am | Reply

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