ion and development-orientated assistance, in partnership with a range of actors including central government, regional authorities, local commanders and community-based shuras (Alikuzai, 2013).
By far the greatest expenditure associated with international involvement in Afghanistan is the cost of foreign military operations, which has risen steadily since 2003. Reported spending rose sharply from 2006 to reach a new high of US$63.1 billion in 2009, more than ten times the total international aid investment in the same year. The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan was the largest global peacekeeping operation for the fourth year running in 2010 (Abirafeh, 2009).
At the very least, there will is always a need to ensure that aid (both humanitarian and development assistance) does not undercut peace building efforts and may complement other policy instruments attempting to build structural stability. The Western-backed aid program was a response to massive humanitarian need, but also became entangled with cold war and post-cold war political agendas (Rubin, 2013). The delivery of humanitarian aid mirrored to a great extent the system of brokerage that developed around the arms pipeline to resistance groups. In the 1980s refugee and cross-border program were seen by many as the non-lethal component of aid to the Afghan resistance. The refugee camps became a rear base for the Mujahidin, and refugees had to register with one of the seven political/military parties approved by the Pakistani government. Until 1988 both the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) were constrained by sovereignty issues from providing aid in Mujaheddin held areas.
Therefore NGOs became the ‘vehicles of choice’ for a semi-covert, cross-border relief operation. This was linked to the broader military strategy of keeping the civilian population inside Afghanistan to provide support to the Mujaheddin. There was considerable secrecy as to the