Leadership, Assistance and Occupation: lessons from Afghanistan!

“If we don’t stand for our sovereignty, it won’t take long before that assistance turns into an occupation”, said Afghan President criticizing the US and others.

As a global leadership scholar, I am studying American soft power leadership and its practices on the global world in general and in Haiti in particular.

Shortly after the earthquake last January, I spent several days at the airport in Port-au-Prince where most rescue teams stayed for the first phase of the emergency response. Most of the rescues were from Afghanistan and I had the opportunity to talk about the situation of this country.

I just read a story published by the Wall Street Journal on Afghan Affairs. And what I read is close to the situation in Haiti with one difference: Haiti is not an open war zone on terrorism and ethnic fundamentalism.

But besides this main difference, some tags words will include both countries: aid, troops, election, corruption, occupation, sovereignty etc…

100,000 American troops are fighting a deadly war against the Taliban in Afghanistan whose government is propped up by billions of dollars in aid.

US President Barack Obama just visited his Afghan homologue President Hamid Karzai. Talks from both side were not soft.

Obama criticized Mr. Karzai on pervasive corruption in his government.

This looks the same with Obama meeting with Preval recently at the White House. I don’t know the content of their closed talks but shortly after his visit, the State Department released a report on corruption in Preval’s administration.

USA today published a story pointing at a Minister closed to Preval who is a stakeholder in a construction firm which has been granted several contracts in the reconstruction of Port-au-Prince.

Afghanistan and Haiti should have elections this year.

Karzai, on his side, is very hard on elections issues and the control of the Electoral Commission.

Parliamentary elections are slated for September in Afghanistan. And the control over the Electoral Commission is the main target.

The main challenge for the US and its allies in Afghanistan is the ability to use at the very same time both the hard power of the military intervention and the soft power of influence through leadership building capacity.

Soft power as defined by Joseph Nye of Harvard University is the ability to obtain what one wants through co-option and attraction. It is in contradistinction to ‘hard power‘, which is the use of coercion and payment.  Soft power should be based on trust, values and institutions.

Roosevelt Jean-Francois

Mots-clefs : , , , ,


Published by Roosevelt

Roosevelt JF is a Global Leadership Fulbright Research Scholar from Florida Atlantic University (FAU) where he taught Haitian Studies as an Adjunct Instructor (2005-2010). Roosevelt was also a senior admissions adviser at Kaplan University. Roosevelt JF is the President of The JF TEAM, INC; a full media marketing and business development consulting firm based in Fort-Lauderdale, FL. He is a sought out radio and TV business show host. He is also a guest for several mainstream medias including NPR, the Miami Herald and Newsweek. He also leads the Center for Communication of AIDS, a network of journalists committed against AIDS in Haiti and South Florida. He speaks fluently Creole, English, French and Spanish. He is the author Of "Leadership sur le vif: Des idées pour le changement et la création de richesse en Haïti".

One thought on “Leadership, Assistance and Occupation: lessons from Afghanistan!

  1. Trust, values and institutions. I think you hit the bull on his head, but, let me say this, “Trust, values, and institutions” have to be defined, approached and implemented through a historical reality, represented by Haiti, France, USA, Rome, and Santo Domingo. En plus, il a la dynamique Interne, negativiste des couches et classes sociales de notre pays. An efficient leadearship should be able to uncover the missing links between the entities between, Haiti, France, USA, Roma, and Santo Domingo. Im talking to the stand point that, imperialism is not innocent in all of these. If you don’t like that term, let’s say instead

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