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Afghanistan is on the brink after US invests $100 billion

CNBC

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Afghanistan’s economy is worsening and its security deteriorating despite more than a decade of U.S.-led reconstruction efforts and more than $100 billion poured into the country, according to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, an independent oversight agency created by Congress in 2008.

The agency’s investigation, conducted between October and December of last year, paints a grim picture of the country — including millions of dollars squandered on projects that never came to be, a resurgent Taliban, infiltration by the so-called Islamic State and a handful of guilty pleas from U.S. military personnel in bribery cases.

Despite all that, however, the United States should not back out now, experts said, or it runs the risk of a completely failed state — which in turn is a green light for terrorist organizations to grow, and oppression and corruption to spread…

All that said, not every project has been a failure, and Afghanistan has been changed in many ways for the better. The economic opportunities, security and infrastructure available to Afghans in government-controlled areas today far exceed conditions that existed under Taliban rule, according Blaise Misztal, director of the national security program at the Bipartisan Policy Center. Many projects have empowered women and disseminated skills related to development,others told CNBC.

KEYWORDS: AFGHANISTAN, BLAISE MISZTAL