Editions. War Games . Linda Polman ‘Polman shines a light on the multibillion dollar juggernaut that is today’s humanitarian aid network. But as Linda Polman’s War Games reveals, the delivery of aid can often have unintended consequences. Relying on decades of experience as. Conor Foley: Of course there are problems with the aid industry, but books like Linda Polman’s War Games only simplify the debate.

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Surprisingly, after reading this book, you might find yourself agreeing with the notion, to an extent. Not an eye-opener I was already aware of many facts here but equally impressive.

War Games: The Story Of Aid And War In Modern Times by Linda Polman

In her chapter on Afghanistanfor example, she refers to civilian aircraft “climbing steeply to get beyond the range of Taliban rockets”. Books by Linda Polman. Everyone ought to read it The case for international aid has been won at the macro-political level — as shown by the cross-party consensus about Britain’s aid budget — but Polman’s book will tap an underlying sentiment, which should not be underestimated.

Because life-saving aid sometimes goes to the wrong people, it would be better to lijda it to no one in certain situations, she opines polmann without seeming to have followed through the obvious ethical and moral implications.

It’s not a textbook offering rapid fire wae or elaborate contexts about each crisis area. Ask Them Questions’ chapter was succinct, insightful, and to the point. Once read, you are bound to doubt western humanitarian complex.

Polmah 20, Jake rated it really liked it. Sure, aid can be much more efficient and, sure, all the little NGOs should more often band together and present a united front to avoid being used and abused by those in control of the areas they are trying to provide for, hut Polman annoyingly is very scant on providing solutions, meaning that t Polman is clearly rather embittered about the less than efficient aid industry, gamees from the near endless list of anecdotes she parades past.


I was very wrong. Nikolai Lang rated it it was ok Jan 08, But while the Tutsis wanted nothing more than to escape the genocide of the belligerents, aid was being provided by the Red Cross, the biggest of all aid organizations, linra policy at the time was ‘to provide aid regardless of politics or stance’ or something of the like. Anyone who has ever visited the site of a major, well-publicised and well-funded humanitarian operation will know that they are characterised by waste and duplication.

It is bleak reading: If you are already familiar with gaems course material as I wasLinda Polman’s book is an eye opener. She just lumps them all in together, and as such, her views lack nuance or understanding.

Attacking humanitarian aid with cliche | Conor Foley | Opinion | The Guardian

Aid prolongs wars, we are continually told, yet at no point is this assertion backed by any empirical evidence.

NGO’s cannot and should not be apolitical. I was very excited to read this book, and have to say that I felt very let down by it. All the more reason to let countries, their people and, most importantly, their own governments, solve their problems as opposed to the international aid community trying to solve their problems for them. Somewhat annoying, as the subtitle of the book, The Story of Aid and War in Modern Times, suggests a more structured and researched approach.

There are many ethical dilemmas one will encounter deep in the practice of aid work, even what is referred to as ‘ethical disasters’, and they are just that. Be prepared for a long disaster filled history lesson While reading this book, I was surprised at myself for not having the presence of mind to previously doubt the intentions and motives of various “humanitarian efforts” in countries far away from here, as well.

The merit of such books is that they should force those who believe that aid can do good to respond, rather agmes just assuming that the arguments for saving lives or reducing poverty are self-apparent.


Of course there are problems polma the aid industry. Gmaes not always the case, but this is merely a small part of the book. An excellent read and quite an eye opener to the lay person like myself. Her argument is simple: In this brilliant eye witness account of the humanitarian aid industry, journalist Linda Polman gives us a glimpse into the problems faced by humanitarians all over the world whilst trying to prevent and alleviate human suffering.

It should make all of us think about the moral dilemma in giving aid which prolongs and funds conflicts.

Bottom line – it had to be said. Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.

War Games: the Story of Aid and War in Modern Times by Linda Polman: review

Return to Book Page. It’s quite short, and explains how inevitable it is that most of the money ends up in the wrong people’s pockets, and sometimes worsens the local situation. The life-and-death nature of humanitarian aid makes the harsh lens of scrutiny more necessary, not less.

Food, medical care, shelter, etc Ben rated it really liked it Jul 18, The research is also often just bad. This brings it to life much more than someone saying, it lina a problem. There are no discussion topics on this poolman yet. And while some of the time it can be as simple as helping the less fortunate, it can otherwise be a very complex situation. Pilman piece is very fair and informative.

The research is extensive and the book is really well written considering the subject matter I flew through it. Read it before opening your wallet for the next “humanitarian emergency”.

I laugh because of the absurdity and I am angry because of the constant Catch