Afghanistan Weekly Reader: Moving Defense Dollars to Fund the War

The closure of Pakistan’s supply routes last fall caused a spike in the costs of supplying NATO troops in Afghanistan. Now the Pentagon is seeking congressional approval to transfer $100 million per month from other defense programs to the cover increased costs of continuing the war effort. Meanwhile, the news from the ground in Afghanistan is mixed. Poppy production has declined, and the number of U.S. casualties from improvised explosive devices has dropped. But violence continues, particularly in southern Afghanistan. The International Security Assistance Force reports 3,000 insurgent attacks around the country in May, up 21% from May 2011.

From ASG
Seeking Responsible Policymakers on Afghanistan

Afghanistan Study Group by Mary Kaszynski

Many members of Congress, including fiscal conservatives, have dropped the ball on Afghanistan policy. Rather than supporting efforts to wind down the war, Congress has voted to extend it. Rather than working to make every aid dollar count, Congress has dragged their feet on improving aid oversight.

Afghanistan War Strategy During the Surge – Infographic

The New York Times

In 2009 and 2010, the United States increased its troop levels in Afghanistan by 54,000 soldiers. A majority of the first wave of reinforcements was sent to Helmand province instead of neighboring Kandahar, which was deemed to be more important strategically by the then-top U.S. commander, Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal.

10 things you didn’t know about the Afghan war

The Washington Post

In the 1950s, dozens of American engineers built a vast network of irrigation canals aimed at bringing modern agriculture to southern Afghanistan. Six decades later, U.S. Marines fought and died in those same canals as they sought to beat back the Taliban.

Pentagon to seek shifts in spending

Politico by Austin Wright

The Defense Department plans to seek congressional approval to alter its spending to handle billions of dollars in unanticipated costs, including an additional $100 million a month to supply troops in Afghanistan.

Building Bridges in Afghanistan

Time’s Battleland by Mark Thompson
Anyone who has had to live without a bridge in his or her neighborhood for awhile knows just how vital those spans can be. In Afghanistan, it turns out they’re also ripe for corruption and an ideal place to plant improvised explosive devices.

The Folly of Nation Building

The National Interest by Amitai Etzioni

There is a growing consensus that the United States can’t afford another war, or even a major armed humanitarian intervention. But in reality, the cost of war itself is not the critical issue. It is the nation building following many wars that drives up the costs.

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