The December 31 ultimatum demanding Afghan President Hamid Karzai authorize an open-ended occupation or lose all US military support at the end of 2014 didn’t work, so now officials are trying a different tack.
“My judgment is no troops, no aid,” warned US Ambassador James Dobbins, who insisted that political support for humanitarian aid was entirely tied to the presence of occupation forces, and that if Karzai doesn’t sign off, the Afghan government will lose billions in aid.
US officials are playing up what a “disaster” the loss of aid would be for Afghanistan, while insisting that the everyday lives of Afghans is dramatically improved because of US largesse.
That claim seems unwarranted, and the Afghans are likely to see it the same way. While many in the Karzai government got rich off the corrupt contractor deals, Afghanistan is still a wreck 12+ years into the occupation, and most of the aid has notoriously gone into building projects Afghans didn’t need or want.