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article imageThousands killed in US reconstruction projects in Afghanistan

By Ken Hanly     Feb 12, 2020 in World
There has been much documentation to show that the Afghan war has been quite expensive with considerable sums spent on reconstruction but little has been achieved.
The human costs of Afghan reconstruction
The US Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko warns the US Congress that financial expenditures give an incomplete picture of the costs. There has been a very high human cost to the reconstruction program.
The SIGAR report
said: "While considerable effort is made to track the amount of U.S. dollars spent, this review shows that we do not adequately capture the human cost of conducting reconstruction and stabilization projects while combat operations are still ongoing, especially third country nationals and Afghans," the report concludes. "Unless the U.S. Government considers the human costs, the true costs of reconstruction and stabilization efforts in Afghanistan are not accurately captured."
The reconstruction program has resulted in 2,214 people being killed so far. 216 American soldiers were among those killed but also 68 American civilians. There were 2,921 wounded, and another 1,182 who are simply missing. Most casualties identified in the report were Afghan civilians, 1,447 were killed, 2,008 wounded, and 1,003 kidnapped during reconstruction operations.
The US Congress created the SIGAR office to find where there was waste and corruption in the billions of dollars the US taxpayer spent in the war in Afghanistan. Up until this report SIGAR was almost exclusively focusing on the financial costs of the US operation but now it is revealing the huge human costs as well.
The casualties reported were the result of Taliban and other militant attacks on reconstruction projects since 2002.
When asked to assign a letter grade to the US reconstruction effort in Afghanistan Sopko said he thinks even a D-minus would be a bit high. He said that the US should only get credit for attendance.
Trump conditionally accepts Afghan peace plan
The New York Times reports that Trump has conditionally approved a peace deal with the Taliban that will see US troops withdraw if the Taliban will commit to a reduction in violence for roughly a one-week period this month. However the Taliban had already agreed to a demand that the deal include a ceasefire. The Taliban have indicated that they are fed up with the US backing out of a deal to ask for additional demands. It remains to be seen if they accept this further demand.
More about Afghan reconstruction, US in Afghanistan, Afghan war
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