I care about the 1 trillion dollars but I care about the human cost much more. What are we still doing in the West Virginia of Asia? (No offense to wild and wonderful West Virginia.) How many men and women are dead who didn’t need to die? How many children? Why is the opium/heroin crop bigger this year than ever before? Why are palaces being erected throughout Kabul with US taxpayer dollars? Why are bases being built by contractors only to be abandoned months later? Why did the US military allow Al-Qaeda linked groups to bid for, and get contracts?
Lots of “whys.”
(From The FT)
John Sopko, the government’s special inspector-general for Afghanistan, whose organisation monitors the more than $100bn that has been spent on reconstruction projects in the country, said that “billions of dollars” of those funds had been wasted or stolen on projects that often made little sense for the conditions in Afghanistan.
“We simply cannot lose this amount of money again,” he said. “The American people will not put up with it.”
Adjusted for inflation, Mr Sopko said the amount the US had spent on reconstruction in Afghanistan was more than the cost of the Marshall Plan to rebuild western Europe.
“Time and again, I am running into people from USAID, State and the Pentagon who think they are in Kansas [not Afghanistan],” he said. “My auditors tell me things [about spending plans] and I say, ‘you have to be making this up, this is Alice in Wonderland’.”