From the WaPo:
A U.S. initiative to spend hundreds of millions of dollars on construction projects in Afghanistan, originally pitched as a vital tool in the military campaign against the Taliban, is running so far behind schedule that it will not yield benefits until most U.S. combat forces have departed the country, according to a government inspection report to be released Monday.
The report, by the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, also concludes that the Afghan government will not have the money or skill to maintain many of the projects, creating an “expectations gap” among the population that could harm overall stabilization efforts.
Um… no shit? But yeah, who could have known?
How about… everyone. Afghanistan is a tremendously poor country. It has very, very limited infrastructure and capacity. Oh, and by the way, there is a f__ing war raging in the middle of it. But somehow, the country is supposed to absorb annual development funds that represent a significant portion of GDP? In what world does that possibly work?
As I have pointed out many times, the problem with Afghanistan policy isn’t that I just happened to be on the opposite side of a debate where reasonable people could disagree. The problem is that the policy as it was developed was perhaps the laziest effort imaginable. Proponents of COIN and nation building in Afghanistan have never, ever done even the most cursory due diligence on their proposals. The whole policy is built on a series of demonstrably false propositions.
But yeah, what’s a few thousand lives and a few hundred billion wasted among friends?