Despite the public pledge of President Obama to pull out of Afghanistan, we continue to spend huge amounts of money in the war and the Obama Administration has fought to keep US troops in the country. Now an estimate from the Financial Times and independent researchers put the cost of the war at roughly $1 trillion with a commitment of hundreds of billions more in the coming years. There continues to be no serious debate over our ongoing losses both in personnel and money in this war.
Science, educational, and infrastructure programs are being cut while the government pours billions into Iraq and Afghanistan. I have previously written about the waste of billions of dollars by the government without any significant discipline for government officials. We have become accustomed to reports of unimaginable corruption and waste in Afghanistan from bags of money delivered to officials to constructing huge buildings to be immediately torn down to buying aircraft that cannot be used. Much like our useless campaign against poppy production where we continued to spend billions because no one had the courage to end or change the program, the Afghan war just continues on a mix of weak military commitment by the Afghans and an even weaker political commitment at home to the American people.
It boggles the mind to think what we could have done in education or infrastructure or the environment with $1 trillion. My kids are in public school in McLean where the Fairfax board has ordered classed of between 32-35 kids because of the lack of funds for new teachers. However, the country just gushes hundreds of billions of dollars in Afghanistan without even a note of concern.
One of the most interesting facts is that 80 per cent of this spending on the Afghanistan conflict has taken place during the presidency of Barack Obama.
Reprinted with author's permission.