$17 Trillion in debt, but billions wasted in Afghanistan

Congress recently passed a clean debt ceiling bill, which gives free reign to the Obama Administration and the Democrats to increase America’s debt well beyond the current $17 Trillion threshold. Despite the debt carried by the US, billions were and are still being wasted in Afghanistan.

Wasted resources due to lack of parts, results in billions wasted

Wasted resources due to lack of parts, results in billions wasted

While the WTC attack was the motivation to take out Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and to drive them across the border into Pakistan, the mission eventually turned one of nation building, with restrictive rules of engagement. Twelve years of war have taken a toll both in terms of human suffering, spilling of precious young American blood and a pile of money in support of a government whose loyalty to NATO and the US is questionable.

While General Petraeus’s policy saw the formation of a strong Afghan Security Force, including Afghan police, one has to ask if this force will be effective without NATO or US support. Afghan President Hamid Karzai is playing both ends to the middle and refuses to sign a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), which would provide for a US residual force to assist and support Afghan Security forces and provide a base to launch drones into Pakistan. That policy is falling apart and seems to take the same route as it did in Iraq.

Karzai recently released Taliban prisoners, which the US considered very dangerous. Karzai pointed out that Afghanistan is an independent country and if it’s judicial system decided that if it was safe to release these prisoners, the US should not be concerned, nor should it interfere with Afghan affairs.

The whole strategy, which is falling apart, was based on the premise that Afghanistan could take over its own defence and keep the Taliban and Al Qaeda at bay. The strategy has been costly in both terms of American and NATO lives as well as billions of dollars wasted.

The Ottawa Citizen reports that the first thing you see as you arrive at the Kabul airport are 16 military transport planes abandoned on the side of the runway. The aircraft are useless because of lack of spare parts. The aircraft were grounded indefinitely. Their mission was to fly Aghan Security personnel around the country. Another four sit on a tarmac in Germany and have never been delivered to Afghanistan.

The aircraft were supposed to move Afghan soldiers around the country, and while they were flown briefly, persistent problems obtaining spare parts have grounded them indefinitely. Another four, never delivered to the Afghan military, sit on a tarmac in Germany. It’s expected all will eventually be scrapped.

“Those aircraft are useless,” Lt.-Gen. Mohammad Akram, the Vice-Chief of the General Staff of the Afghan National Army, told the Citizen. “That’s a scandal.”

The planes, which cost U.S. taxpayers $486 million, are seen as the latest example of the bottomless financial pit critics say Afghanistan has become.

Source: Ottawa Citizen

Military hardware is a common money waster as spare parts are hard to come by and the problem will become more severe as US troops depart the war torn country. The US tax payer is the unsung victim of this failed policy as can be seen by many USAID projects.

The Washington Times reported on January 22nd, citing a US funded school as one of the examples. The project has not been completed in five years and already needs repairs to a leaking roof and its failing electrical system.

In the latest evidence of costly nation-building gone awry, government investigators found that a U.S.-funded school built for Afghans at the expense of U.S. taxpayers is still incomplete after five years of work, and now needs repairs to fix “a leaking roof, defective electrical wiring, and an improperly sloped terrace roof.”

Plus, investigators for the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction are worried that the structure could collapse altogether, erasing any return on investment.

It’s yet another in a long line of unfinished projects that might not be completed or fixed before the U.S. withdraws all its forces, which is expected in the next year.

Source: Washington Times

Since commencements of operations in 2002, the US has poured more than $100 Billion of aid into Afghanistan. One must ask now to what end?

When NATO and the US leave by the end of 2014, the mission must get a grade of either not complete or failed. Despite the fact that Candidate and President Obama called this war the right war, he was bound and determined to get out of the conflict. The mission has not been completed and it is likely that the country will revert to its pre war status with the Taliban retaining power. Karzai knows this, yet he attempts to make deals with the Taliban.

Pakistan has also been attempting peace talk with the Taliban and the Obama administration tried to arrange peace talks as well. The peace talks between the Taliban and Pakistan have collapsed. Pakistani negotiators cancelled a meeting with the Taliban on Monday after the Taliban claimed they had killed 23 Pakistani soldiers in their custody. According to the India Times the Taliban beheaded the soldiers.

How can anyone negotiate with people with this type of culture, total disrespect for life and are not serious about peace.

Considering the amount of money and lives already wasted in Afghanistan, it is time for NATO and the US to draw the consequence, withdraw all troops and stop any aid to this country. Unfortunately it is 12 years wasted, but why waste anymore?

There are enough wounded warriors it’s time to close the book on this country.

About the Author

Karl Gotthardt - Politisite Managing Editor Maj. Gotthardt is a Retired Military Officer with 35 years service in the Canadian Armed Forces. He spent most of his time in the Military in Infantry Battalions. Karl took part in training for Afghanistan as an Operator Analyst with the Canadian Maneouvre Training Centre. Karl is a qualified military parachutist and military free fall parachutist. He earned his U.S. Master Jump Wings in Fort Benning, Georgia. Karl enjoys working with horses for the last 24 year. He owns six. He has experience in breeding, training and of course riding.Karl was born in Germany and is fluent in both English and German and he speaks enough French to "get in trouble". Karl has written or writes at NowPublic, All Voices, Tek Journalism and many others.

Author Archive Page

Post a Comment