The deal signed with the Karzai government earlier this year will keep US ground troops in Afghanistan through 2024, but President Obama is being a little less ambitious with Congress, seeking funding for the civilian aid program only through 2017.
The proposal would keep the level of US aid to Afghanistan roughly flat over the next five years, and would mean that President Obama would not have to cross that bridge again in a potential second term, leaving the next funding push for his successor.
Aid to the Afghan government has come under repeated scrutiny, as billions of dollars have vanished without a trace and several of the schemes bankrolled by US aid have been disasters, building unusable roads and uninhabitable buildings.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton defended the call for money as a reward for “progress” in Afghanistan, saying that only with the billions in funds would the Karzai government be able to make “reforms.” The exact level of the funding was not released to the public.
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