It is all too common in examples in which nations undertake to build up another nation that, in the process, those extending benefits may well wind up with more benefits than the object of the benefit. Resentment is building in the Solomon Islands over efforts by Australia to assist in providing security to the population and ensure the Solomon Islands is able to attain higher standards of economic development. A report by the private organziation, AID/Watch, says the $1.3 billion operation by Australia has triggered rapid inflation and inflicted “aid trauma” on the islanders. The economic benefits accruing to aid workers, soldiers, police and contacted companies provides them with strong incentives to keep the process going of building up the Solomon Islands.
About 99% of those assisting in the operation are native born Australians which engenders feeling among the Solomon Islanders the entire operation is geared to ensure foreigners walk away with large economic benefits from aiding people on the islands. The report also notes, after an initial effort to spark development, time has witnessed an ever increasing decline in the clarity of what was the mission really all about. The “plan” never described when it would be completed and how the Australians would gracefully exist the Solomons.
The example of this exercise in futility for the Solomon Islands raises all too familiar similarities to the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. If one doesn’t know how or when to exist, is there really a plan?