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Money can be ammunition: The US invades with guns, then cash.


The army, and American government as it exists today, is largely outsourced. Behind that is this naive belief that the mechanisms of the market and profit will somehow guarantee the outcomes we want. But things happen on the ground not as the result of anyone's planning or vision, but as a result of all these selfish actors acting in their own interest.

Journalist Matthieu Aikins reports on the financial front of America's occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, where a flood of cash buys temporary peace but creates long term problems - from destabilizing corruption to enemies on the payroll, and explains why American foreign policy needs a radical re-imagining if the government hopes to create stability abroad.

Matthieu wrote the New Yorker piece The Bidding War: How a young Afghan military contractor became spectacularly rich.

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Matthieu Aikins

Matthieu Aikins is a journalist who has been reporting from South Asia and the Middle East since 2008.


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