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Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Afghanistan money pit

The Associated Press reported, "The United States wasted billions of dollars in war-torn Afghanistan on buildings and vehicles that were either abandoned or destroyed, according to a report released Monday by a U.S. government watchdog."

The story said, "The agency said it reviewed $7.8 billion spent since 2008 on buildings and vehicles. Only $343.2 million worth of buildings and vehicles 'were maintained in good condition,' said the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR, which oversees American taxpayer money spent on the protracted conflict.

"The report said that just $1.2 billion of the $7.8 billion went to pay for buildings and vehicles that were used as intended."

Afghanistan is no longer a war.

It is a money pit, and has been for some time.

Our reason for being there ended nearly a decade ago when Navy SEALs found and killed Osama bin Laden.

He was in Pakistan.

But war costs a lot of money and there are plenty of people who profit off it. Just as we should have quit NATO in 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed, so we should have left Afghanistan with Laden's death.

Yet we still are in NATO and Afghanistan. The two overlap as somehow NATO's European mission was extended to the middle of Asia.

Sarah Chayes is senior associate in the Democracy and Rule of Law Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. 

7 years ago, she wrote about corruption in Afghanistan for Politico.

She wrote, "Human rights abuses, classically defined, are gory: nighttime disappearances, a corpse lodged in the weeds by the side of a canal, scars from electrical burns blotching bruised skin or bodies swinging above city streets from the crossbeams of cranes. The horror of such crimes is easy to decry. But what about government crime that may be less gruesome though possibly even more consequential? Acute, systemic corruption is such an offense. And that is exactly what the United States, in the name of democracy, has enabled over the past 13 years in Afghanistan.

"To the east of the Afghan city of Kandahar, where I lived for most of the past decade, is a long bridge over the Tarnak River. A decomposing carcass of dangerously exposed sinews, shattered by war and neglect, that bridge was an obvious reconstruction project for the Afghan government to take on. But within weeks of each repair, new holes would spring open; drivers had to pick their way around them, or abandon the bridge altogether and hazard the rocky riverbed below. Then repairs would begin anew. Meanwhile, the contractors on the job, linked to the provincial governor, flaunted sudden wealth."

On May 20, 2015, Megan McCloskey and Vince Dixon of ProPublica reported, "This is a story about how the U.S. military built a lavish headquarters in Afghanistan that wasn’t needed, wasn’t wanted and wasn’t ever used—at a cost to American taxpayers of at least $25 million.

"From start to finish, this 64,000-square-foot mistake could easily have been avoided. Not one, not two, but three generals tried to kill it. And they were overruled, not because they were wrong, but seemingly because no one wanted to cancel a project Congress had already given them money to build."

And so it goes.

People propose expensive projects in Afghanistan and everyone in Congress is too scared to say no. Why, someone may question the loyalty of a congressman if he did the math.

As always, American foreign aid always helps the local corrupt politicians. It also helps corrupt politicians in America. Foreign policy has been very, very profitable to Hillary, Kerry, and of course, Hunter Biden.

All I know about Afghanistan is that nearly 2,400 American soldiers died there. It is time to come home.

The Associated Press story said, "The U.S. public is weary of the nearly 20-year-old war and President Joe Biden is reviewing a peace deal his predecessor, Donald Trump, signed with the Taliban a year ago. He must decide whether to withdraw all troops by May 1, as promised in the deal, or stay and possibly prolong the war. Officials say no decision has been made but on Monday, Washington’s peace envoy and the American who brokered the U.S.-Taliban deal, Zalmay Khalilzad, was back in the Afghan capital for a tour of the region."

Biden should keep the deal.

Let the Taliban have the damned place.

After landing on the moon, Americans decided, OK. We had enough fun in outer space. Let's address the problems here on Earth.

I say, OK, we had enough fun on the other side of the planet. Let's address the problems here in Poca -- and the rest of the USA.

25 comments:

  1. It's no longer an issue since Dubya won in Iraq. The Lefties need something to hate on.

    Always.

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    1. The Lefties can hate all they want, but their Congresscritters get tons of "loot" from the lobbyists for their retirement accounts. The Swamp knew PDJT was going to stop it....and the gravy train, so He had to be stopped.

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  2. After landing on the moon, Americans decided, OK. We had enough fun in outer space. Let's address the problems here on Earth.

    We did? Don't remember that. I do, however, remember a lot of "professional" blacks bellyaching how we shouldn't spend a lot of money in space when it should be spent on welfare.

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    1. We did spend it on welfare. Look what Ta’Quannnn, Jer’Mikhal and Shamiracle did with it.......

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  3. The worst money pit is Congress.

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  4. At this point I am in agreement with Muslim terrorists. Our government is a monster that needs to be destroyed.

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  5. Every war since WW2 has been to benefit the war profiteers. If that is not correct, then why do all these wars last 20 years and we never win? BTW have we won the war on drugs yet.

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  6. Ever since Vietnam, we have made it our foreign policy to prop up unworthy allies. Enough already!

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  7. The universe has a habit of presenting puzzles without solutions; this is one of them.

    A puzzle without a solution often seems to end up with what I sometimes call an A-B oscillation problem. It goes something like this.

    First, the way to deal with a challenge is to do A. When A gets into trouble (which it will if the problem is intractable), there's a groundswell of "A is a stupid way to do this. It's obvious that we should do B!" - where B is for the most part the opposite of A. So the next time the situation arises, B is done... and after a short while, all memory (both literally and institutionally) of A is gone. So when B then gets into trouble, the reaction is quickly "B is a stupid way to do this. We should be doing A!" No one suggesting using A grasps that A was already tried, and was abandoned in favor of B. So then A is tried again... all memory of B is quickly lost, and after awhile everyone starts complaining that A is stupid and we should do B. And things keep oscillating.

    The A plan for Afghanistan was back in the 1980s - to drive the Soviets out, then leave. Which is what happened. That left a power vacuum which was eventually filled by the Taliban. The Taliban became a nice home for bin laden and company - which "proved" that A was stupid (win, leave, ignore) and that this time (2001 and after) we had to do B (stay and help them build a non-Taliban society that wouldn't turn into a Taliban/al-Qaeda squat). Now, B hasn't worked out either... so now we'll go back to A.

    I don't have any ideas of how to do this right - probably because the only thing we've learned about places like Afghanistan is that there simply isn't a winning strategy (we've tried both).

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    1. C: we get the f**k out and say to Hell with 'em!

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    2. Do B (leave) but don't allow anyone over there to even visit here ever again. What do we care what they do over there???
      Anyone from any country that goes to Afghanistan can never come to US ever again either.

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    3. The best solution would have been to make it so costly for them that they never try messing with us again. Instead we waste billions borrowed from China to build garbage.
      If we'd done it right, they'd be importing sunlight, and it would be delivered by pack animals.

      Delete
  8. WAR, ooogh, yeah, WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR?? Absolutely nuthin, say it again...

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  9. "Our reason for being there ended nearly a decade ago when Navy SEALs found and killed Osama bin Laden."

    Wrong we should have left after our supposed allies took a tea break and let the as...le escape from the mountains in Tora Bora. We should have said OK were outta here. We see anything that even hints as resembling a terrorist training camp were going to level it!

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  10. Long before anybody ever heard of Osama bin Hidin' Afghanistan was called the "Graveyard of Empires." The mountain range crossing A-stan is called the "Hindu Kush" which means "Killer of Hindus."

    In one of Rudyard Kipling's famous poem "The Young British Soldier" he wrote:

    When you're wounded and left on Afghanistan's plains, and the women come out to cut up what remains, jest roll to your rifle and blow out your brains and go to your gawd like a soldier.

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  11. The Associated Press (AP) story said, "...President Joe Biden is reviewing a peace deal his predecessor, Donald Trump, signed with the Taliban a year ago. He must decide whether to withdraw all troops by May 1, as promised in the deal, or stay and possibly prolong the war.”

    The AP lies.

    Biden* is reading the comics...which is challenging now with his advanced dementia...and decided which color mask and which flavor pudding he’s going to eat with his dinner.

    Next the AP is going to report that Biden is polishing his non-State of the Union “State of the Union” Speech.

    Geesh...the left-wing flacks at the AP gonna flack.

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    1. The one good thing about Biden's dementia, in a few weeks he can hide his own Easter Eggs.

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  12. I so hate almost every politician, lobbyist, employee on the hill, ambassador, etc. the layers of corruption and greed are mind boggling. American deaths mean nothing to them, except for a few photo ops.

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  13. 20 years ago we had Johnny Cash, Steve Jobs and Bob Hope.

    Now we have no Cash, no Jobs and no Hope.

    I really hope Kevin Bacon doesn’t die.

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  14. That's why we're still there. Our politicians get kickbacks, including military brass and especially the Bidens and ilk.

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  15. cross posted at https://freedomaustralia.freeforums.net/thread/947/australian-bureaucratic-filth-keep-afghanistan

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  16. My friend Michael Yon after his experience with Nepal soldiers wrote about their country using human and animal waste to produce methane gas for heating and cooking; not just burning the dried dung. I researched what was done in Nepal, which helps locals and is inexpensive to build and maintain, and submitted Michael's suggestion with links to the State Dept, DOD, my Senators, AID and other government
    organizations and received nothing, zero back. I have never heard that such a project was ever started. I guess there was little graft available for such a project that would just benefit the people.

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