As Afghanistan quickly unravels and the Taliban resume control over large areas of the country, the Obama Administration appears to be rushing to spend as much money as possible before we are kicked out. The latest example is the Pentagon moving forward with a $772 million purchase of aircraft that the Afghan army “cannot operate or maintain,” according to a Special Inspector report. It is understandable of course. We cannot wait any longer with the rise of anti-American sentiments. We need to get this equipment in place before the Taliban and their allies take over.
The latest quarterly report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction discussed the aircraft and noted that it has long been recognized that “the Afghans lack the capacity — in both personnel numbers and expertise — to operate and maintain” existing and planned fleets. This includes 30 Mi-17 helicopters from Russian firm Rosoboronexport. We previously discussed how we are not even buying American aircraft. This will also make it easier for a future anti-American government to maintain the fleet with Russia as opposed to having to seek American spare parts.
To make things even more bizarre, the Administration has admitted that it is giving money to Taliban-linked businesses despite objections from U.S. personnel in the country. ohn Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR), said “I am deeply troubled that the U.S. military can pursue, attack and even kill terrorists and their supporters, but that some in the U.S. government believe we cannot prevent these same people from receiving a government contract.” He added that we are giving these companies money “despite detailed supporting information demonstrating that these individuals and entities are providing material support to the insurgency in Afghanistan.”
Just to recap: We have a corrupt puppet regime with a president who calls us demons and the enemy while publicly insisting on receiving bags of cash from the CIA. We have billions that simply have disappeared into the pockets of Afghan warlords and corrupt officials. We are building facilities and then tearing them down unused. We are giving huge contracts to Russia to supply aircraft that cannot be used while funding companies tied directly to Taliban insurgents. As we just to spend billions before being kicked out of the country, our leaders continue to cut back basic educational, environmental, and scientific programs at home.
That should cover it. The saddest thing is not the utter incompetence of our government. It is that fact that the public no longer believes that it can do a thing about any of this. We have become mere unwilling passengers on a Ship of Fools.