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At the end of the 13 yr war in Afghanistan and over $100 billion in development efforts, Afghanistan is beginning anew with her first peaceful and democratic transfer of political power. This transition, unfortunately, is occurring in the most fragile state outside of sub-Saharan Africa and during diminishing stability and development gains due to Islamic jihadist rebel actions in Iraq. In order for Afghanistan’s transition to the world stage to maintain a positive trajectory and be lasting, aid needs to be reformed to better meet the long-term needs of the Afghan people. Keen planning by the U.S. Army provided such an outlet for military-development assistance, the Agriculture Development Teams (2008–2014). These special teams supported Afghanistan’s primary driver of survival, employment, and productivity: water/agriculture. Using only 0.04% of U.S. development funding, these teams provided an improved approach to development by using widespread, community-accepted, sustainable projects, which included educational and training components using an “Afghan first” focus on contracting, materials, and labor. Water projects developed and implemented with the Afghan people focused on infrastructure and educational needs, providing a step forward in the progression of Afghanistan from subsistence to economic agriculture. Although these professional, egalitarian military teams are now inoperative, their efforts are being analyzed and included into new warfare expectancies. U.S. military might has become holistic and is leveraging all expertise to make future endeavors successful for the affected state. Using this improved approach to military aid, future operations should provide better, more meaningful support, increasing the likelihood of development success.

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