Using data from a major rural road construction programme in India we document political influence in a setting where politicians have no official role in contracting decisions. Exploiting close elections to identify the causal effect of coming to power, Political party-based local elections are widely advocated as key to strengthening democracy, and their outcomes can significantly impact local economic development. A randomised experiment to determine how locals in Punjab, Pakistan, choose to vote found that voters tend to prefer candidates with political connections over those who have proven to be competent, Using results and original survey data from the November local government elections in the Sargodha District of rural Punjab, Pakistan, insights are offered into the institutional and organisational responses that can help strengthen local democracy.
These results form part of a larger research project being conducted by the Institute of Development and Economic This project aims to understand how to make it harder for local politicians to capture small-scale infrastructure projects. By analysing detailed data on the bidding process we aim to understand how politicians have been able to intervene and what could be done to prevent such manipulation in future.
In particular, we aim to answer 3 questions related to political To make informed decisions, policymakers need accurate and timely information on the social and economic state of a nation and its population. Reliable measures of economic activity, population density, physical security, and migration are a few examples of information that play a critical role in guiding public policy.
In Afghanistan and many other developing countries, it How successful has implementation of flagship infrastructure programmes been in these areas? Wright, Jacob Shapiro. The challenge of bringing economic growth to communities affected by Good governance and effective policy are essential for sustained economic growth. Pakistan and other countries are struggling to transition from patron-client political systems, where politicians win office by providing targeted benefits to supporters at the expense of broader collective benefits, to performance-based systems.
Many potential transparency-promoting public Politics violence has long been endemic in Pakistan, but the scale, scope, and geographic distribution of the problem has not been systematically studies. This gap poses problems for both policy and academic research. On the policy side, decision makers lack credible quantitative data with which to weigh the relative costs of politically-motivated violence against the many Follow us. Directed by. Preserving it is no small task. It requires hard work and wisdom from civil servants and political leaders, alike, who must articulate to both the American public and partners abroad what the U.
The longer the U.
CT strategy remains unnecessarily shrouded in mystery, the higher the costs will be to the execution of CT operations and to the U. Credibility and strategic communication, therefore, must go hand-in-hand. Direct action operations — including the deployment of U. It is the end result of a complex set of access agreements, overflight approvals, strategic asset positioning, and bilateral negotiations, all of which must be pursued in concert with partners before the United States is able to act against threats internationally and outside of declared war zones.
Moreover, direct action is just one aspect of the U. It has been able to dismantle some terrorist networks overseas only through robust law enforcement cooperation. And even its ability to try foreign terrorists in U. In the case of CT, that cooperation requires deft maneuvering, often on short timelines and with lives at stake, only adding to the pressures of getting things right.
There is no one-size-fits all approach to counterterrorism partnerships. Tankel demonstrates this fact in great detail in his case study examination of different U.
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Each partner has its own security paradigm, unique history with the United States, capacity limitations, and individualized approach to dealing with both domestic and regional developments. All of these influence partner perceptions of local CT dynamics and the value of working with the United States to achieve CT goals.
Why Terrorist Groups Are So Bureaucratic
In no case is it more apparent how these dynamics can lead to difficult tradeoffs than in the case of Pakistan. He rightly characterizes the U. Both as a former counterterrorism intelligence officer and former U. Despite the nuances and frustrations of working with a partner that has so many security priorities out-of-step with those of the United States, the relationship with Pakistan has always been critical to the U.
It just has yet to calculate that its approach to terrorism actually accrues to its own detriment. And yet, even today, as Islamabad struggles with terrorist threats to civilians in its most populous cities,  the Pakistani military refuses to take a consistent position that fundamentally challenges terrorist and militant exploitation of Pakistani soil.
Despite regularly engaging on the importance of dealing once-and-for-all with those whom the United States perceived as serious threat actors, Pakistan continued to hedge. Meanwhile, the U. The United States began signaling that, with its reduced regional presence, Pakistan should expect gradual reductions in U.
Pakistan complained, but did not change the kind of behavior that Washington had made clear was problematic.
- The Terrorist’s Dilemma: Managing Violent Covert Organizations;
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Unfortunately, they were also unmoved. While Pakistan counted on U. Pakistan has been playing a dangerous game for years, supporting terrorist and militant proxies that it found useful and cracking down on elements that posed a significant threat to the West and to Pakistan. Some of those proxies evolved to become not instruments of the state, but instead unpredictable allies, liabilities to control, and eventually, in some cases, threats to Pakistan itself.
The Terrorist’s Dilemma; Decoding Al-Qaeda’s Strategy
As long as this policy continues, Islamabad will be trading a healthy relationship with the international community with one that too often caters to hostage-takers in the region. So What Do We Do? It is unlikely the United States will be able to talk Pakistan out of viewing certain non-state actors as critical foreign policy tools. Progress will center on those narrow issues on which the two countries can agree.
And paradoxically, given their joint disruption over the last 17 years of terrorist groups like al-Qaeda or TTP, there are fewer and fewer issues on which they can easily, transactionally cooperate.
Conversations with Pakistan about regional security will only get less satisfactory from here on out. And yet, the United States must not disengage. If Pakistan cared that much about U. Additionally, the U. Pakistan is the key to shrinking the size of the Afghan insurgency, thus enabling Afghan forces to truly own security in their country, and giving the United States the ability to draw down in the region with the confidence that its local security partners can contain the terrorist and militant threat.
Disengagement will not help make that argument, nor will it put the United States in a position to steer Pakistan away from strategic miscalculation or mismanagement in the region that could lead to a nuclear exchange. Effective CT campaigns cannot stop at targeting terrorists.
They have to address the underlying causes that create the conditions that terrorists exploit. Dealing with those underlying causes is a long and costly affair, especially in a region as multi-layered as South Asia. Fundamentally, to make progress against such an enormous challenge, America must broadly share with its partners the same basic interests. That is just not the case with Pakistan.
The United States is now at a stage in its CT campaign where it can and should move away from counterterrorism as the orienting principle for its engagement in the world. To do that, a partnered approach, especially in the Middle East and South Asia, is more important than ever. But how much America must invest — or sacrifice — to make those partnerships work for both sides remains a difficult equation to solve, especially because every situation requires a unique solution tailored to the circumstances of the region in question.
He exposes with great clarity and a sense of history and proportion the difficulty associated with maneuvering through intractable problem sets with multifaceted partners.
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In so doing, Tankel provides an objective perspective on why these relationships can be so problematic, even when dealing with a threat that, from the U. As policymakers continue to evaluate how best to navigate these relationships to protect the United States, they would do well to read With Us and Against Us , absorb what it has to say about the difficulties ahead, and enter into counterterrorism partnerships clear-eyed and purposeful, knowing there is much history — and folly — to learn from. Implicit in his analysis is a critical question about the current U. Recommending caution does not imply that unilateralism is a better alternative.
However, U. In his book, Tankel develops a specific question: What can the United States reasonably expect from its partners in counterterrorism operations abroad? His answer is based on an impartial consideration of a select subset of those partners: states that have active jihadist insurgencies and terrorist groups and that are aided by the United States in the absence of any formal treaty obligations.
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