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Book Today We Drop Bombs, Tomorrow We Build Bridges: How Foreign Aid became a Casualty of War

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Today We Drop Bombs, Tomorrow We Build Bridges: How Foreign Aid became a Casualty of War

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Today We Drop Bombs, Tomorrow We Build Bridges: How Foreign Aid became a Casualty of War.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Peter Gill(Author)

    Book details


'An indispensible inquiry into our moral health and humanity.'
LSE Review of Books

The war on terror has politicised foreign aid as never before. Aid workers are being killed at an alarming rate and civilians in war-torn countries abandoned to their fate.

From the ravaged streets of Mogadishu to the unending struggle in Helmand, Peter Gill travels to some of the most conflict-stricken places on earth to reveal the true relationship between the aid business and Western security. While some agencies have clung to their neutrality against ever stiffer odds, others have compromised their impartiality to secure the flow of official funds.

In a world where the advance of Islamic State constitutes the gravest affront to humanitarian practice and principle the aid community has faced in decades, Gill poses the crucial question – can Western nations fight in a country and aid it at the same time?

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Book details

  • PDF | 320 pages
  • Peter Gill(Author)
  • Zed Books (15 May 2016)
  • English
  • 2
  • Society, Politics & Philosophy

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Review Text

  • By Toby P on 23 July 2016

    This is an excellent book. Without hesitation I would place it on a par with David Reiff's A Bed for the Night, as one of the best two books available on "our" sector (I have worked in humanitarian assistance since 1993). Brilliantly researched, well structured, and written in a highly accessible and engaging style - this latter point being where many studies of contemporary humanitarianism invariably disappoint. Its of course at its core a depressing read - David's 2002 book, like MSF's Fiona Terry in her Condemned to Repeat the same year, warned of what would happen if Governments and aid agencies themselves did not reassert the impartiality, neutrality and independence of humanitarian action. The war on terror was then just underway, and this book of Peter Gill shows that these earlier warnings were entirely justified - 12 years or so later, the overall trajectory of independent humanitarian action in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia and Syria is indisputably depressing, and Gill is too sensible and grounded to really offer much of a way back. The country case studies are all excellent.Peter Gill also writes about important new trends, that readers may not yet have found elsewhere but which are changing the humanitarian world, probably for ever - the extraordinary work done by local and diaspora Syrian humanitarian organisations, with and despite the assistance they got from more established NGOs, and the security and financial authorities of countries like the UK and the US; the fantastic work done by Islamic Relief over the past two decades; newer still, the rise and increasing importance of Turkish humanitarian assistance, not just in Syria but in Somalia too, and its essential disregard for the western co-ordination and traditional delivery "industry".Gill shows the uncomfortable blurring over the past day 15 years of overt (usually US-based) commercial aid contractors, with their extravagant and predatory cost structures, with the "charity" ethos on which the great UK charities had been been built in the 20th century. The "hybrid" NGO/contractor is sketched by Gill along a continuum, with the now discredited IRD on one end (paying a $1.7m dollar package to its husband and wife leadership team the last year before it effectively went caput in 2014), but with the UK and US "traditional charities" on the other end of the same continuum, paying ever larger salaries to their CEOs over the past decade. Illustrating this, Gill notes that a year or two ago, one household name charity was paying its UK and US based CEOs a higher salary than David Cameron and Barack Obama respectively.ICRC and MSF rightly get most attention in the book, the latter I think correctly identified by Gill as both the most independent and, more importantly, most effective of the world's humanitarian agencies, but one perhaps more often than before prone to what Gill is not afraid to label "grandstanding". Its also to Gill's credit and the reader's benefit that there are smaller but solid pieces on much more contemporary developments, whose real impact may be seen much later, such as the careless and thoughtless leadership of the UK's Charity Commission under their current Chair, William Shawcross.Overall, a superb book.

  • By Mr. G. Horsewood on 30 August 2016

    Read and learn - what we all knew really in our hearts but were to trusting to ask, about the roles played by 'charities' and NGOs. Cutting and enlightening stuff

  • By Alexander on 5 December 2016

    a very informative book about the current state of humanitarian in the world. easy to read and engaging.

  • By Janet on 9 September 2016

    As advertised thankyou


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