No logo for the U.S. in Pakistan

Made in the U.S.A. labels aren't working like they're supposed to near the border of Afghanistan

By Andrew Leonard
November 13, 2007 8:34PM (UTC)
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Brand recognition appears to be a serious problem for the U.S. in Pakistan's semi-autonomous tribal regions. As in, the locals don't appreciate that Made in the U.S.A. label.

An Indian newspaper, citing anonymous sources in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) Civil Secretariat, is reporting that the United States "will remove the logos and name of USAID and other development agencies from projects being run in Pakistan's Tribal Areas so as to neutralize the growing anti-American sentiments sweeping across the restive region along the Afghanistan border."


According to the report, the U.S. has allocated $300 million for "dams, roads, schools and hospitals in the seven tribal districts of Pakistan." But now this largess will presumably all be bestowed by an anonymous donor.

Given that the U.S. is already in the habit of annually funneling hundreds of millions of dollars in cash, with zero oversight, directly to the the Pakistan military and President Pervez Musharraf, stripping off any identifying features from USAID funds shouldn't be that hard. But it's still a bit embarassing. In American corporate culture, devaluing your company's brand is grounds for immediate tar-and-feathering. And now the U.S. is not even allowed to take credit for the schools it helps to build? Shouldn't someone be held accountable?

Andrew Leonard

Andrew Leonard is a staff writer at Salon. On Twitter, @koxinga21.

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Afghanistan Globalization How The World Works Pakistan Taliban