Monday, July 5, 2010

"Civilian officials must promote economic insurgents-entrepreneurs"

Schramm, Litan, and Stangler argue that entrepreneurship should be a key element of our strategy in Afghanistan. It should come as no surprise that I wholeheartedly agree. Perhaps we should establish an "Office of Strategic Entrepreneurship" to oversee its implementation.

For any economy to grow, for living standards to rise, new businesses must be created. Those local businesses must be allowed to experiment with different ways of solving local problems. Each of these firms can be seen as a type of "insurgent"-starting, experimenting, and growing. Not all will succeed; the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has suggested that, in some cases, new business creation should be discouraged because some entrepreneurs might fail. Progress, however, only comes about through trial and error.

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