Taliban Taking Ground that US Paid Billions for in Afghanistan

Justin Holcomb
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Posted: Jun 10, 2016 7:30 AM
Taliban Taking Ground that US Paid Billions for in Afghanistan

The Taliban is making U.S. leadership look like amateur hour as they slowly re-take key areas in Afghanistan.  The renewed insurgency is threatening the billions of dollars in gains the U.S. has made over the past 15 years according to a report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR).

"The bottom line is too much has been wasted in Afghanistan. Too much money was spent in too small a country with too little oversight," John Sopko told Reuters. "And if the security situation continues to deteriorate, even areas where money was spent wisely and gains were made, could be jeopardized." 

Congress has appropriated nearly $113 billion Congress for reconstruction since 2001 when U.S.-led forces invaded the country and toppled the Taliban.  About 60 percent of the $113 billion Congress has appropriated has gone to train and equip Afghan security forces.

The effort has long been plagued by corruption, waste and mismanagement, according to a series of reports from (SIGAR).

In March, it was reported that the U.S. Defense Department has donated roughly $858 million worth of real property to the Afghan government over the last five years.  

During the transfer of Camp Leatherneck in October 2014, roughly $236 million worth of property was donated to the Afghan government and about $39 million worth of equipment was dismantled.  

So the question that remains is what did we gain in Afghanistan, or more importantly, what did we lose?