Read original at The National Desk
WASHINGTON (TND) — Since the withdrawal from Afghanistan two years ago, the U.S. has spent around $8 billion and Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko told Congress he could not guarantee that the money has not been funding the Taliban.
Open the Books founder Adam Andrzejewski joined The National Desk’s Jan Jeffcoat Friday to discuss the issue.
Look, $8 billion over a two-year period, I put that in comparison to federal money into the state's pre-pandemic. It would outrank 14 states on the receipt of federal money and this is going back to Afghanistan. Where was the peace dividend?" Andrzejewski said. "We were promised a peace dividend by the Biden administration when we left in the hasty withdrawal. We were doing $6 billion a year in aid to Afghanistan. Our research at openthebooks.com at the time had uncovered that Afghan was the number one recipient of US foreign aid outranking another 170 countries at the time. So where's the peace dividend? Where are the savings to the American taxpayer as we left in such haste?
Jeffcoat brought up the concern about the U.S. continuing to send money if it can't confirm it's actually going to humanitarian efforts.
Well, Afghanistan, Jan has always been a black box. For example, our anti-narcotics campaign since 2002 in Afghanistan. We spent $9 billion with no measurable results and poppy sales were at an all-time high and even the United Nations admitted that Afghanistan was a failed narco-state," Andrzejewski responded. "We spent $1 billion on a respect women campaign over 20 years in Afghanistan and that is probably the least successful and biggest failure of a PR campaign in all of US history.
SIGAR says it is currently focused on monitoring the more than $8 billion given to Afghanistan since the U.S withdrew in August 2021, but the 2023 High Risk List report warns that the aid, meant for the Afghan people, is possibly being diverted before it reaches its intended recipient, meaning it possibly ends up in Taliban hands.