Democrats on the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee have warned that Afghanistan faces a financial depression when troops ‘leave’ in 2014. The two-year report calls for better handling of the $320 million in foreign aid the US spends every month in the country, which has so far fueled corruption. USAID argues the money is essential in winning ‘hearts and minds’. Afghanistan has received approximately $18.8 billion in US foreign aid over 10 years–more than Iraq–a great deal of which is funneled through private contractors.
The Congressional report adds that 80% of aid goes to the south and east of Afghanistan, heartlands of Taliban and insurgent activity, where the money is often used for short-term stabilization at the expense of long-term, sustainable programs.
A ‘war-weary’ Congress is pushing for a speedy withdrawal of the 100,000 US forces stationed in Afghanistan, a process expected to start in July of 2011.
Additionally, a World Bank report recently found that 97% of Afghanistan’s GDP comes from military forces and donors.