Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, October 19th, 2018

Most US Efforts to Rebuild Afghanistan Failed: SIGAR

Most US Efforts to Rebuild  Afghanistan Failed: SIGAR

KABUL - Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) says US government’s efforts to rebuild Afghanistan mostly remained unsuccessful, says report released by the watchdog on Thursday.
The watchdog responsible for monitoring US government’s reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan says the US set unrealistic expectations for stabilising Afghanistan on a short timeline.
The Obama administration lacked the political will to invest the necessary time and effort to stabilize the country, and that some efforts to bolster the Afghan government actually backfired, the NBC news said citing the SIGAR report.
“[Our] overall assessment is that despite some heroic efforts to stabilize insecure and contested areas in Afghanistan between 2002 and 2017, the program mostly failed,” said John Sopko, head of SIGAR, at a Thursday morning event announcing the report.
The report examines stabilization efforts from 2002, soon after the US began military operations in the country, to 2017.
The report says the effort proved ineffective in stabilization because the military focused on the most dangerous districts first, where poor security made it hard to move on to the building phase.
US civilian agencies were compelled to conduct their stabilization programs in dangerous areas not ready for rebuilding, and once coalition troops and civilians left those districts the stabilization ended.
Some efforts to introduce increased Afghan government control also produced unintended consequences, according to the report, because they created more opportunities for corruption.
By 2008, the security situation in much of the country had deteriorated and insurgent attacks began to mount.
The report focuses most of its attention on a period beginning in 2009, when the incoming Obama administration attempted to reverse the decline, and when the US spent the bulk of the $4.7 billion that has been dedicated to stabilization since 2002.
According to the report, the US military and State Department were continually racing against this clock, which said that in 2011 US “surge” troops would start to leave the country, and in 2014 the Afghan government would take security control of the entire country.
In 2009 and 2010, the Obama administration committed more than 50,000 troops to clear the most dangerous areas of the country, and hundreds of civilians followed to rebuild the war-torn areas. The surge was limited to 18 months.
“In the hope of compensating for a lack of time,” the report says, the US threw more money at the problem, increasing spending in the most dangerous areas. The large sums of money spent “in search of quick gains often exacerbated conflicts, enabled corruption and bolstered support for insurgents.”
Without consistent security progress in any district, locals were not convinced the coalition could protect them if they turned against the insurgents, according to the report. And without confidence in the government, they were too afraid to serve in the local government and military.
In general, the report finds that the US government “greatly overestimated its ability to build and reform” Afghan government institutions and did not tailor the programs to Afghanistan. (Pajhwok)