Playing SysAdmin is a lot of matchmaking
Tuesday, January 11, 2011 at 8:41AM
Thomas P.M. Barnett in Afghanistan, Citation Post, Development-in-a-Box, SysAdmin

Spoke to Jason Kelly for this Bloomberg piece on Pentagon work in Afghanistan to foster economic development.  Article profiles Paul Brinkley, Under Secretary for Defense and his work in Afghanistan.  Enterra had worked for Brinkley's office in Iraq.  The theme, much in line with out Development-in-a-Box work in Iraq, is that of "matchmaker."

It's a good piece overall, capturing the challenge and the efforts of one Pentagon office to which I've offered advice and help in the past.

Here's the bit where I was quoted:

Beyond Allies

Getting companies from countries not directly involved in the military effort is crucial to the long-term success of economic development, says Thomas P.M. Barnett, chief analyst for Wikistrat Ltd., a Tel Aviv-based consulting firm.

“The guys who are going to benefit are going to be from the non-Allied pool,” he says.

Brinkley is agnostic and has recruited foreign companies, including automaker Daimler, into Iraq.

“This is not just about U.S. companies,” he says.

Another small mine project stands as a test of the viability of natural-resources investing in Afghanistan. JPMorgan Chase, based in New York, assembled investors who ponied up $50 million for a mine in the rugged fly-over country between Kabul and Herat.

JPMorgan bankers, drawing on knowledge of the country’s natural resources from its mining clients in the former Soviet Union, shared some of that intelligence with Brinkley’s team in 2008 and during the next two years worked to gather additional data. The results were presented to Petraeus and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates last January. With the money raised, the mining project was granted a license late in 2010.

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