Taliban Gains Threaten US Reconstruction Schemes in Afghanistan

Billions Already Wasted, Program's Rare Successes Now at Risk

Since 2001, some $113 billion has been spent on Afghanistan reconstruction projects by the US. Massive amounts of that went to waste, the result of sloppy planning, poor record keeping, and just plain criminality.

Still, even a broken clock is right twice a day, and a few projects actually came to fruition, and if not exactly well-considered, aren’t totally worthless. At least not yet. But the Taliban’s advances are putting even those rare successes at serious risk.

Security had already hampered a great many of these projects, with more than a little money set aside for security finding its way into the hands of Taliban or other powerful warlords. Such protection schemes were common, and places where they didn’t happen usually saw the construction delayed and workers attacked.

Pentagon officials downplayed this latest report, from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, saying that the Afghan military continues to make “steady progress” in its efforts to defend the country.

Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.

  • curmudgeonvt

    Lipstick on a pig, even in a good light, is still lipstick on a pig. The American taxpayer should be outraged and they should start taking it out on the politicians and (non)think(ing) tanks and generals who put us in this place. I would hope that when the American taxpayer finally sees through all the “oorahs” and “honor the non-heros” BS those responsible would be very, very afraid.

    • Don

      An appeal to the taxpayer is probably better than nothing because there’s no candidate promoting an antiwar cause. But in any case, taxpayer outrage won’t accomplish anything. Remember, it’s just a dog whistle that Trump blows for the dogs to hear. And it’s counter to an antiwar agenda of which he has nothing.

  • dieter heymann

    Almost hundred years ago it was Trotsky who explained again why military actions of this kind succeed or fail. To succeed they must have a deep response in the population of the region. That is why the Taliban will always out duel foreign invaders who are not Muslims. Forever.

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