The “global war on terror” has exacerbated some of the old challenges faced by international aid in conflict zones. Indeed, decision makers often see relief, reconstruction, and development as ways to win the “hearts and minds” of people against insurgents. In Africa, however, this article shows that such expectations rely on a simplistic understanding of conflict dynamics and on the belief that relief helps to buy social peace. Yet foreign aid can in fact exacerate the competition for resources and prolong conflicts. Moreover, integrated interventions that attempt to combine humanitarian and military operations are quite difficult to implement.