Omaha Public Radio News
2:45 am
Tue September 16, 2008

UNO Afghanistan expert says a new rebuilding approach is needed

Omaha, NE – Security issues, a poor economy, and lack of opportunities are hindering Afghanistan's ability to rebuild, according to an expert on the country.

Tom Gouttierre is Director of the Center for Afghanistan Studies at the University of Nebraska-Omaha. During a lecture last week at Creighton University, Gouttierre said the country's infrastructure, economy, and schools are all in poor condition. Security is not adequate, and warlords still control some provinces in the country.

Gouttierre says too many countries and big-money contractors are involved in Afghanistan's rebuilding, creating an uncoordinated response. He suggests a more community-based approach, in which Afghans are trained to do jobs that will help them rebuild their country. That includes helping to rebuild or improve infrastructure. Gouttierre says poor security means many people stay in Kabul. But he says that city doesn't have the infrastructure to meet the needs of all of its residents.