Now it can be told:
What does this mean? The Taliban, obviously determined to return to power, will most certainly retake most of the nation. The hapless Afghan army will probably just run away. That's what it did almost as soon as the
Does that mean the U.S. has simply wasted hundreds of billions of dollars and 2,000 American lives? Not entirely. The war's original purpose was to wreak revenge on al-Qaeda for the 9/11 attacks, to capture or kill its leadership and destroy its training camps.
That was accomplished. But in short order, al-Qaeda simply moved to other unstable states --
My view: Be our guests. It would be far easier to attack them in
In its new quarterly report, the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction, a federal agency
In February, American soldiers turned over a forward operating base west of
Stories like that are rife. In one eastern base near the
If Afghan security forces cannot maintain forward operating bases, they won't be able to defend most of the country. It's just that simple.
Not surprisingly, the Pentagon offered only qualified endorsement of the inspector general's report. "There are problems that do come up, and obstacles,"
That's a typically over-optimistic military statement. Can you imagine any Pentagon officer ever saying: "This is hopeless. We can't win."
"America's 'Can do!' response to the challenge" in
By that, the commissioners were saying, U.S. military and civilian agencies almost never take into account whether the host country has the skills and financial resources to maintain a big, expensive project after the U.S. leaves, leading to "vast amounts of spending with little or no benefit."
Even with the discouraging experiences over the last decade,
In fact, the special inspector general noted, "the U.S. has surpassed its goals in procuring equipment" for the Afghan army, even though the Afghan army and police "do not have the capability to operate and maintain garrisons and training centers built for them."
The inspector general made the same point that the Congressional commission stressed: "Billions of dollars of U.S. taxpayer funds will be at risk of going to waste."
What's so perplexing is that
- Afghanistan Project is Money Ill-Spent
- Afghanistan: Donors Must Not Give Up
- China's President-in-Waiting is Inheriting a Mess
- Slowdown of the Chinese Economy Pushing The World Towards New Crisis
- Pakistan: Brave Teen, Cowardly Taliban
- Pakistan's Malala: Everyone's Daughter in the Fight for Girls' Education
- Add Malala Yousafzai to the List of Those Who Fought for Truth
- An Unlikely Hero Stands Up to the Taliban
- Afghanistan's Vibrant Media Scene
- Mao's Great Famine
- Citizen Protests Making an Impact in China
- Militancy in Central Asia: More Than Religious Extremism
- Afghanistan: Life after NATO
- Afghan Training Mission Continues to Lose Ground
- Afghanistan: The Barber of Kabul
- Political Meritocracy is a Good Thing: The Case of China
- Why China Won't Collapse
- Phillipines Fighting Floods as well as Rebels
- North Korea and Disneyland
- Alienated People and an Overcautious State in China's Xinjiang
- The Farce of Chinese Multilateralism
- Central Asia: A Look at Sources of Violence and Instability
- The Paradox of China's Naval Strategy
- Challenging China's Rare Earth Monopoly
- South Korea: Stuck in the 20th Century?
- Japan's (Un)Clear Nuclear Ambition
- Political Rift Deepens in Japan over Senkakus Nationalization
- India's Gambit in the Central Asian Abyss
(c) 2012 Distributed by Tribune Media Services