interview — Neocolonialism and NGOs


US military strike on Syria

Listen to an interview with Yazan al-Saadi, journalist, researcher and contributor to Al-Akhbar based in Beirut, Lebanon. This interview explores the contemporary relationship between western military power and global NGOs.

Specifically this interview highlights a report Yazan wrote on a US army manual published in 2014 that outlines a clear plan to co-opt NGOs into global US military strategies. In addressing the relationship between NGOs and western military power this interview explores critiques around the contemporary realities of neocolonialism. Yazan writes : 

The key problem here is that humanitarian organizations need to ask themselves why are they in the non-western world. Are they here to basically transform these societies into carbon copies of Western ‘liberal’ states or simply to help? Often, it is the former and that is simply like the military establishment. Another thing that should be noted is that many of these humanitarian organizations come to the non-Western countries with a sense of superiority and arrogance — sometimes, the ngo workers don’t even know the barest of things about the societies they work in — which furthers the complexities and problems that are raging behind humanitarian action.

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