Tuesday December 17, 2019
If you need more proof that lawmakers in the US couldn’t care less about America’s woeful commitment to human rights abroad—or even care about the public who vote them into office—look no further than the recent Afghanistan papers and the reaction to the publications from Congress.
According to the Washington Post, the outlet had obtained 2,000 pages of notes from interviews with more than 400 generals, diplomats, and other officials directly involved in the war. The documents showed that US officials were lying about the progress being made in Afghanistan, lacked a basic understanding of Afghanistan, were hiding unmistakable evidence that the war had become unwinnable, and wasted close to $1 trillion in the process.
Barely a few hours following the Post’s publication, Congress rewarded the Pentagon for its stellar efforts with a $22 billion budget increase. How can we as a society justify this?
One stand-out statistic—among the many concerning ones—is the fact that before the US invasion the Taliban had almost completely put to bed Afghanistan’s illicit opium trade. Since the US invasion, combined with $9 billion in US funding for anti-opium programs, the Taliban is not only stronger than it ever was but sits cemented in a country that now supplies 80 percent of the world’s opium.
I can’t help but think this was done on purpose.