Battlefield Circulation: Afghan Financial Culture and the American Experience in Afghanistan.
- Submitted in partial fulfillment of the degree Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. Abstract: In the global economy, the presence of finance persists across all cultures, borders, and peoples. Some economies are moving more quickly toward digital economies and currencies, while others are hoarding cash and outright banning crypto-currencies. Others are m... read moreaking perceived bold moves intended to provide some shock therapy to their monetary system and remove “black money” from criminals. How people conceptualize and behave with regards to money and finance matters greatly. These differences often manifest as a byproduct of the realities that people face in a wartime or peacetime economy. These differences also manifest themselves according to social, religious, or cultural customs that are as integral to society as familial relationships. In Afghanistan, a country that has experienced nearly 40 years of war, the financial culture that has developed has evolved out of a combination of persistent uncertainty and cultural customs that have existed for hundreds of years. This uncertainty hasn’t left many Afghans receding from the global economy (far from it); but it has incentivized them to remain in the informal economy and become excluded from the global financial system. This financial reality, taken as a given, has dramatically influenced military efforts in Afghanistan and is explored upon in this paper.read less