Our entire policy in Afghanistan has been inconsistent since the first troops were relieved. Each replacement unit has attempted to recreate established plans and objectives to satisfy what they thought was the “right” way. For starters, sample here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.
“The last guy’s great idea wasn’t as good as my new great idea.” That’s been the only consistent policy every year for the past 11 years. As other’s have said, “We haven’t been in Afghanistan for 11 years, we’ve just completed 11 one-year deployments.”
So, over the coming years, expect to see a plethora of news articles, like the Wall Street Journal’s “Parting Gift for Afghans: A Military McMansion,” exposing waste in the wasteland of Afghanistan (check-out Firewood grows on trees if you think the “Afghan-right” solution is a panacea).
Whenever the killing of terrorists in Afghanistan was abandoned as the primary (and only objective), the waste began. Make no mistake, any so-called “investment” in Afghanistan is a waste. Building any modern security force, government, or infrastructure is doomed to failure for all of the reasons stated in the WSJ article–and then some.
But the ignorance of those commenting on the article is disarming. While the overall total spent on the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) is significantly higher, thinking the +/-$12 Billion spent on facilities would somehow alleviate our domestic spending problem is insane.
REALITY CHECK: If we never spent a dime on infrastructure for the ANSF, it would pay-off 25.9 HOURS’ worth of the 2012 year-to-date U.S. budget deficit ($845 Billion as reported by The Hill)!
While we should leave Afghanistan lock, stock, and barrel (except for perhaps some special forces), leaving is hardly a panacea for our spending problem and it will hardly be a cure for the politically-driven agenda that has become the United States’ Afghanistan policy.
Well, at least we’ll get an “A” for effort. That and another $16 Trillion will pay-off our spending problem.