"“U.S. and foreign contractors poured money into a limited number of Afghan powerbrokers who set up companies that were corrupt and did not perform. . . . In many cases, they also paid off insurgents to let them operate,” Cordesman wrote.
He suggested that the government “tightly control the influx of outside money, limit its flow to honest and capable Afghans at every level of government, and provide the transparency to allow Afghans to see how honestly and effectively the money is used.”" Pincus
For years, I have told everyone in this wretched city (Washington) including Pincus that senior Americans (not sergeants) and their retired government buddies have been participating for years in the awarding of huge contracts to Afghans in or close to the government. This is not news. pl
"... supplemental budgets were sought for the two wars, putting the costs, now near $1.5 trillion, on a credit card. Meanwhile, Defense’s core budget has risen about 4 percent a year, adjusted for inflation, except for the past two years. As Todd Harrison of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments (CSBA) points out, President Obama’s plan to reduce 100,000 Army troops and Marines over the next five years will still leave ground forces larger than those existing at the time of the 9/11 attacks. Then there are the funds wasted on failed efforts to modernize weapons systems. According to a 2011 CSBA study, “Over the past decade, at least a dozen major programs were terminated without any operational systems being fielded. The sunk cost of the terminated programs . . . for example, totals some $46 billion.” The Pentagon also is paying hundreds of millions to upgrade some systems, such as the F-22 stealth fighter plane. " Pincus
We can't afford this Defense Department. Change the foreign policy, kill the acquisition contracts, pension people off after shrinking the ground forces and come home. pl