The U.S. military has been fighting in Afghanistan for 10 years now. Yet, as attacks this week in Kabul, the center of the American-installed government, show, the Taliban remain undefeated. War hasn’t worked. What can?
“The longer we have boots on the ground, the more we prop up the very enemy we are supposed to be fighting. And for this, the American people have the privilege of shelling out $10 billion a month,” commented U.S. Representative Lynn Woolsey yesterday. Woolsey recommended a “civilian surge” as a solution to the military crisis – and to the budget battles that have wracked Washington D.C. over the last year.
How would a surge in civilian programs in Afghanistan result in budgetary savings? Civilian programs are much more cost effective than military ones. Yet, the U.S. government has spent as much on civilian programs in two years as it spends on military programs in Afghanistan in just one week.
Scale the military back in Afghanistan, and even with a dramatic increase in civilian programs there, the financial savings will be tremendous. Then, there’s the added benefit… of not trying for another year what has failed miserably for the last decade.