Expeditionary Economics: A New Approach to Foreign Aid

Apr 28, 2011, 11:26 ET from American Security Project

American Security Project, with support from the Kauffman Foundation, launches a new report series to introduce effective strategies in post-crisis development

WASHINGTON, April 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today the American Security Project, with support from the Kauffman Foundation, released the first in a series of research reports on expeditionary economics (ExpEcon), a doctrine for understanding post-conflict economic development in fragile states. ExpEcon involves utilizing lessons learned from successful business growth models to create the conditions in which local businesses can grow and prosper.

Joshua Foust, Fellow at the American Security Project (ASP), said: "Expeditionary Economics has the promise to dramatically improve our engagement with countries struggling in post-conflict settings. This has tremendous potential to reshape how we think of aid—from focusing on infrastructure to focusing, instead, on the institutions and structures that shape economic development."

Foust continued: "When we look at how to rebuild shattered societies, we tend to ignore how the economy should work. ExpEcon focuses and directs that thinking toward building a functional, healthy economy from the ground up—which is the foundation of any successful society."

ExpEcon is about rethinking the prevailing doctrine of development and assistance aid to fragile countries. As the first report outlines, this new method strategically focuses on local communities and businesses, with emphasis on empowering local businessmen and women who can grow their own economies without major foreign input—which is quite contrary to current foreign aid practices. The ExpEcon doctrine is fundamentally about internal private sector development.

Dr. Jim Ludes, Executive Director of ASP, stated: "It's no secret that the future of effective U.S. foreign aid will rest partly on our ability to apply successful engagement policies within local communities. In terms of assessing our past practices for success, we still have much to learn—and, given the turn of current unrest in the Middle East, soon, we will have to decide what U.S. involvement will look like and how to best apply foreign aid policies and practices to regions that have multitudinous and complex needs."

Dr. Ludes went on to say: "ASP is thrilled to host this new series in conjunction with the Kauffman Foundation. We are committed to moving the debate forward on critical issues pertaining to our national security, and we are grateful to Kauffman for its leadership in this field."

To download the first research report, please click here.

About the American Security Project: The American Security Project is a non-profit, bipartisan public policy and research organization dedicated to fostering knowledge and understanding of a range of national security issues, promoting debate about the appropriate use of American power, and cultivating strategic responses to 21st century challenges. For more information, please visit www.americansecurityproject.org.

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Joshua Foust

SOURCE American Security Project