Afghanistan Weekly Reader: $88 Billion for Another Year of War

Congress is on the way to authorizing another $88 billion for next year’s operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Besides billions for ongoing military operations, that amount includes more than $5 billion for the Afghan National Security Forces, plus hundreds of millions for unsustainable aid projects under the Afghanistan Infrastructure Fund and the Commander’s Emergency Response Program.

Unfortunately Congress isn’t on the same page as the American public when it comes to the Afghanistan war. Public support for the war is at all-time lows. In fact, a new poll finds that the average American would reduce next year’s war budget to $50 billion – a 43% cut from what Congress wants to spend.

From ASG
Congress Continues To Ignore Public Opinion On Afghanistan

Afghanistan Study Group by Mary Kaszynski
It has become clear, at least to the American public, that we are wasting our resources. But still some members of Congress persist in advocating for sustaining, or even expanding, our role in Afghanistan.

As Trained Afghans Turn Enemy, a U.S.-Led Imperative Is in Peril
New York Times by Matthew Rosenberg
The [green on blue] attacks, and the personal animosity that officials believe have driven most of them, are threatening the joint-training model that is one of the remaining imperatives of the Western mission in Afghanistan.

NATO Summit Will Likely Produce Vague Plans on Afghanistan
US News by John Bennett
Despite ample hype about the coming NATO summit in Chicago, the powwow is unlikely to produce specific policy pacts that will make clear the alliance’s plans for Afghanistan and Syria.

US Lawmakers Calling for Faster Withdrawal From Afghanistan
Voice of America by Cindy Saine
A bipartisan group of 86 members of the U.S. House of Representatives has written a letter to President Barack Obama asking him to bring the war in Afghanistan to an accelerated end.

Nato’s battle of spin with the Taliban marks a new era for Afghanistan
The Guardian by Jason Burke
If you see the current battle of spin for what it is, then it is possible to imagine that policymakers and strategists do actually recognise the unpleasant reality facing Afghanistan in coming years despite their public rhetoric. This may be a slim hope but is nonetheless comforting. But are they preparing to deal with events over the next decade more sensibly than they have over the last? Let’s not go that far.

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