US Likely to Remain in Afghanistan Indefinitely
The United States has already spent more than twelve years and hundreds of billions of dollars to fight the war in Afghanistan but all that was supposed to come to an end next year. A new deal between the US and Afghanistan is being negotiated, however, that would keep a significant US military presence in Afghanistan indefinitely.
The US mission in Afghanistan was officially set to end in 2014. According to The New York Times, Secretary of State John Kerry and Afghan President Hamid Karzai have worked out a pending deal that keeps US forces in the war-torn nation for at least another decade and allows troops to raid homes and properties but only under loosely defined “extraordinary circumstances.”
The deal would allow the US to use Afghan soil and airspace for military operations while continuing to fund the Afghan armed forces. Afghanistan is located right between Pakistan and Iran so it provides key geographical access. Under the agreement, US troops would only be subject to American laws and would be tried by the US.
Of course, if the deal is passed, the US would have to spend billions on forces and projects in the nation. The United States has already spent billions on building projects in Afghanistan but with little success.
At least 19 hospitals built by foreign contractors are too expensive for the government to run. The US spent $770 million to provide Afghanistan with 50 planes to patrol from above but the Afghans can’t afford the $100 million it costs to keep the program running each year and don’t have enough qualified pilots.
The US also spent over a billion dollars to help fund the country’s power grid but once that funding runs out, Afghanistan isn’t likely going to be able to afford to pay to run that either. We have also invested in building many new schools, all of which will require funding that Afghanistan doesn’t have once we leave.
The US also invested $1.7 billion to build roads and bridges in Afghanistan and many are unsound. According to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, “mainly because of the poor quality of initial construction, poor maintenance, and overloading.”