Karzai Demands $2 Billion More Per Year From Americans for Afghanistan Security

The US combat role in Afghanistan will end in 2014, but it seems as if the US commitment to Afghanistan will go on. We’re starting to get some idea of how expensive that commitment will be.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai is asking for the US and NATO allies to spell out how much aid they are willing to contribute. In particular, Karzai has asked for the U.S. to commit to at least $2 billion per year for the Afghan Security Forces after 2014. This is in line with the $2.3 billion minimum that American officials have said is under discussion. Bottom line: The Afghan security forces will cost the U.S. at least $20 billion over the next ten years. Adding the $50 billion that we have already spent, and the total is $70 billion in U.S. taxpayer dollars for security forces of dubious capability.

From ASG
Majority of Americans Believe the War Is Not Worth the Costs
Afghanistan Study Group by Mary Kaszynski

Public support for the war in Afghanistan is at an all-time low. According to a recent Washington Post poll, 66% of respondents say the war has not been worth the costs, compared to only 30% who say it has. This represents a significant change from 2007, when 56% said the war has been worth fighting, and 41% said the opposite.

Afghanistan wants firmer US commitment on funding
Associated Press

Afghanistan’s president raised another condition Tuesday for a long-awaited strategic partnership with the United States: The accord must spell out the yearly U.S. commitment to pay billions of dollars for the cash-strapped Afghan security forces.

The U.S. Spends $14K Per Afghan Troop Per Year, But Each Earns $1,872
Yochi Dreazen

A close look at U.S. military statistics shows that Afghan soldiers and police officers are far more expensive than you’d expect. They are paid an average of just $1,872 a year, but the overall cost of training and fielding a police officer is roughly $30,000 per year, while the cost of each soldier is nearly $46,000 per year. the United States bears virtually all of those costs, adding up to more than $3.5 billion a year.

War-zone contractors subject to more suspensions, debarments
Federal Times by Sarah Chacko

Government officials say they have gotten more aggressive in suspending and debarring companies that misbehave or perform poorly on overseas warzone contracts, such as for reconstruction and military support.

U.S. maps out special ops-heavy Afghan war plan
Associated Press

Adm. Bill McRaven, the head of U.S. special operations, is mapping out a potential Afghanistan war plan that would replace thousands of U.S. troops with small special operations teams paired with Afghans to help an inexperienced Afghan force withstand a Taliban onslaught as U.S. troops withdraw

What do the attacks in Afghanistan mean?
Foreign Policy by Stephen Walt

Even a fairly rosy interpretation of the event raises questions about how well the war is ultimately going…The real question is whether trying to win is worth the cost, including the opportunity costs. Yesterday’s events may have some bearing on that larger issue, but do not provide a definitive answer one way or the other. It is good news that the Taliban attacks mostly failed, but by itself, that news does not tell you that “staying the course” is the right thing to do.

Taking Uncle Sam for a Ride: How Pakistan Makes Washington Pay for the Afghan War
TomDispatch by Dilip Hiro

As your planet-wide activities become ever more diverse, frenzied, and even contradictory, you expose yourself to exploitation by lesser powers otherwise seemingly tied to your apron strings.
Pakistan, twice during America’s 33-year-long involvement in Afghanistan made a frontline state, is a classic example of that. Current policymakers in Washington should take note: it’s a strategy for disaster.

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