The war against the Taliban in Afghanistan officially has cost more that the U.S. spent to reconstruct post-World War II Europe under the Marshall Plan, and now accounts for the largest expense to rebuild a foreign country in the nation’s history. So concluded the Special Inspector General for Reconstruction in Afghanistan, in a white paper it presented to Congress this month. Other key points:
· Since fighting began in 2001, 2247 U.S. service members have died and another 20,000 have been wounded in Afghanistan.
· Afghan security forces still are not capable of defending their nation alone.
· The Afghan government cannot sustain investments the U.S. has made in the country.
· Opium production in Afghanistan is at an all-time high, despite an $8.5 billion U.S. investment in counter-narcotics operations there.