Magazine article New Internationalist

Today We Drop Bombs, Tomorrow We Build Bridges

Magazine article New Internationalist

Today We Drop Bombs, Tomorrow We Build Bridges

Article excerpt

Today We Drop Bombs, Tomorrow We Build Bridges by Peter Gill (Zed Books 9781783601226)

Against the backdrop of the Western 'war on terror' and the often indiscriminate ferocity of jihadist militias, this important book explores the changing, crumbling landscape of foreign humanitarian aid. Peter Gill has visited some of the bloodiest arenas of conflict - Afghanistan and bordering areas in Pakistan and Somalia - and observes the challenges faced by people on the ground working to deliver aid. This he couples with dogged background research on the charities and aid agencies involved, and an evenhanded weighing up of their motives.

It's this even-handedness, a willingness to engage with why certain actors behaved in counterproductive and partisan ways and to hear their side of the story, that is the book's strongest suit. It makes his careful defence of humanitarian practice and the threatened principle of neutrality absolutely compelling. …

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