Afghanistan 2.0: Rebuilding or Bust?

Christiane Amanpour, Matthew Drake & David Miller
Around the World

If you take the last ten years of US Agency for International Development aid assistance to Afghanistan - resources to develop the health system, the education system, the system of government and growing the economy - it would roughly come to the cost of six weeks of our military campaign.

When people have a life and they see their children are being educated and have a future, the community improves and in general is less likely to support violence, but in Afghanistan 95% of the economy comes from foreign aid and the frustration has built up.

That's why Paul Brinkley is here. He and his team of geologists were sent by the Pentagon to help the Afghan people create jobs and better lives by literally hunting for treasure. Brinkley and his team has invited international companies to come in and mine Afghanistan's mineral rich soil for gold, copper and iron with the resources going directly to the Afghan government and it's people.

"We've brought in external people with relatively little knowledge of the country, and we've tried to build things for them. Nobody wants a handout," says Brinkley.

In the past, the US has overpromised and under delivered on massive projects, spending $20 billion on development without many Afghanis' seeing improvement. They promised electricity for two million people by 2007, but now those parts, which soldiers risked their lives to deliver, now sit unused, rusting away.

In Qalat City, the US promised buildings that would revitalize the capital city of a poor province, but the US never asked what the Afghans wanted or taught them how to maintain the buildings. Now the hospital sits crumbling, and along with other buildings Qalat City has become a $12 million ghost town.

Now it's Brinkley's job to help build an industry that Afghanistan can call its own - not by doing it for them, but by doing it with them.