Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Withdrawal Strategy from Afghanistan?

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has harsh words about the nation building project that we've embarked on for the last eight years:

THE HAGUE, March 30 -- The billions of dollars spent in U.S. aid to Afghanistan over the past seven years have been largely wasted, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Monday.

"For those of you who have been on the ground in Afghanistan, you have seen with your own eyes that a lot of these aid programs don't work," she said. "There are so many problems with them. There are problems of design, there are problems of staffing, there are problems of implementation, there are problems of accountability. You just go down the line."

Clinton called the amount of money spent without results "heartbreaking."

Is it just me or is this shockingly candid? Doesn't one conclude that we should not go any further with this project if the last eight years was futile? We're in a time where we don't have the billions to try to see if another eight years will work. (The article sites seven years, they are rounding down, I'm rounding up.)

This was not some kind of slip up by Clinton. If I had to guess, the Obama administration is managing expectations and perhaps preparing the way for a pull out. Feed the public that it's a lost cause, blame the previous administration for the failure and get out. It might take a year or two. We'll see. I hope so.


  1. There is a strong parallel between billions in government aid, and executive bonuses being paid out from bankrupt companies. Has anyone in Washington become aware of the US fiscal situation? When you are ten trillion in the red, and have another 50 trillion in unfunded government liabilities, perhaps handing out billions of dollars is a bad idea. What will it take for the US to realize they are a nation in debt? It seems both GM and the US government may need to solve their problems in a bankruptcy court, before they can get their house in order.

  2. A very good point. It is incredible. Borrowing from the Chinese to give money to Afghans, who resent them, and are fighting a war against them.