The US has spent more on Afghanistan’s reconstruction than was spent on all Western Europe after World War II
“All the money that has come to this country has gone to the people in power. The poor people didn’t get anything,” said Hajji Akram, a day laborer in Kabul’s Old City who struggles to feed his family on around $4 a day. “The foreigners are not making things better. They should go.”
It’s not just Afghans who feel this way. The United States’ own inspector general for Afghanistan’s reconstruction offered a blistering critique in a speech in Ohio.
John Sopko pointed out that the U.S. has spent $132 billion on Afghanistan’s reconstruction–more than was spent on Western Europe after World War II.
Another $750 billion has been spent on U.S. military operations, and Washington has pledged $4 billion a year for Afghanistan’s security forces.
The result? “Even after 17 years of U.S. and coalition effort and financial largesse, Afghanistan remains one of the poorest, least educated, and most corrupt countries in the world,” Sopko said. “It is also one of the most violent.”
“After the Taliban we were expecting something good, but instead, day by day, it is getting worse,” said Hamidullah Nasrat who sells imported fabrics in Kabul’s main bazaar. “How is it that a superpower like the United States cannot stop the Taliban? It is a question every Afghan is asking.”