Afghanistan Weekly Reader: Contractor Fraud Puts U.S. Troops at Risk

For the 68,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan today, the war is far from over. Yesterday the government watchdog that oversees reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan alerted U.S. commanders of “potentially significant contract fraud” in the installation of systems to prevent insurgent attacks. This week also saw the 11 year anniversary of the war in Afghanistan. With war costs at $570 billion and counting, some are questioning official statements of progress.

From ASG
War Costs: $570 Billion and Counting

Afghanistan Study Group by Mary Kaszynski

After eleven years and $570 billion, Americans are ready to move on from the war in Afghanistan. But will policymakers finally make the smart choice? Or will they quietly continue to write blank checks for the war?

SIGAR: U.S. Troops In Afghanistan At Greater Risk Of IED Attacks Due To Contractor Fraud

The Huffington Post by Amanda Terkel

U.S. troops in Afghanistan are facing a greater threat from roadside bombs due to shoddy and incomplete work on a major highway by contractors, according to the official responsible for providing independent oversight of the reconstruction effort there.

How the U.S. Quietly Lost the IED War in Afghanistan

Inter Press Service by Gareth Porter

Although the surge of “insider attacks” on U.S.-NATO forces has dominated coverage of the war in Afghanistan in 2012, an even more important story has been quietly unfolding: the U.S. loss of the pivotal war of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) to the Taliban.

Kabul Prepares for U.S. Talks

The Wall Street Journal by Yaroslav Trofimov and Nathan Hodge

Afghanistan’s demands to curtail immunity for U.S. forces will be a main stumbling block in negotiations over the long-term American military presence here, Afghan National Security Adviser Rangin Dadfar Spanta said, highlighting the issue that derailed similar U.S. talks with Iraq a year ago.

The Afghan war: Do the numbers add up to success?

McClatchy Newspapers by Matthew Schofield

for all the American blood and treasure invested in the war, some experts who’ve studied it contend that the problem with the military’s claims of success is that the numbers don’t add up. Using them alone, the Taliban is overmatched, and attacks since the surge are down. Yet, they have become more brazen.

No Light at End of Afghan Tunnel
The Wall Street Journal, Letter to the Editor by J.M. Simpson

There is no clear path to America achieving its security objectives. It is time to end the wishful thinking about the so-called efficacy of the Afghans and bring our service members home.

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