After thousands of fatalities to U.S. personnel and allies and hundreds of billions of dollars, the Taliban now controls more of Afghanistan than at any point since 2001 . . . that the momentum seems to favor the Taliban. The government controls only 55 percent of the country. One can only wonder at the problems in this country that could have been addressed by hundreds of billions of dollars but the thousands lost and wounded are no abstraction.
In its quarterly report for the US Congress, the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) said, “The Taliban now controls more territory than at any time since 2001.” The government is actually only in control of roughly half of the country’s districts — that is down from 2015 when it controlled 72%.
I have previously written about the waste of billions of dollars by the government without any significant discipline of government officials. We have become accustomed to reports of unimaginable corruption and waste in Afghanistan from bags of money delivered to officials to constructing huge buildings immediately torn down to buying aircraft that cannot be used to buildings that seem to “melt away”. Much like our useless campaign against poppy production where we continued to spend billions because no one had the courage to end or change the program. Then there are the “ghost soldiers” used by Afghan officials to steal money.