Watchdog: US Stabilization Program in Afghanistan a $5 Billion Failure

US set unrealistic expectations, 15 year program 'mostly failed'

The US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has issued a new report Thursday. The report concluded that the 15-year, $5 billion Afghan stabilization program has been a failure.

SIGAR concluded that the US had “unrealistic expectations” for the timeline of stabilizing Afghanistan, and that many of the programs they attempted actually backfired. He concluded the program in general had “mostly failed.”

The report said that the problem was that they focused on the most dangerous districts in Afghanistan first, where the poor security made it virtually impossible to follow through on building projects. When the US withdrew from those areas, the programs ended outright.

Other programs, which weren’t meant to increase Afghan government control, backfired even worse. In giving the corrupt Afghan government control over more districts, they exposed those areas to much greater corruption.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.