America’s involvement in Afghanistan is exhausting, which is why former President Donald Trump vowed to have all U.S. troops withdrawn from the country by May.
According to Breitbart, not only did President Joe Biden extend the troop pullout deadline to the end of 2021, it was also recently announced by Secretary of State Antony Blinken that the United States will be pouring a staggering $300 million into the war-torn country, in the name of aiding “civilian engagement,” leaving many with raised eyebrows wondering if current leadership has any interest in actually ceasing involvement in the area.
“As part of our commitment to invest in and support the Afghan people, we are working with Congress to provide nearly $300 million in additional civilian assistance for Afghanistan in 2021 from both the Department of State and the United States Agency for International Development,” Blinken recently announced.
Blinken added that the aid “is being made available now to demonstrate our enduring support for the Afghan people.”
We will provide nearly $300m in additional civilian assistance from @StateDept and @USAID for Afghanistan. This demonstrates our enduring support and desire to see Afghanistan build on the gains of the past 20 years.
— Secretary Antony Blinken (@SecBlinken) April 21, 2021
The announcement left many curious about exactly what “civilian engagement” involves, which he explained as “improving access to essential services for Afghan citizens, fighting corruption and narcotics, promoting economic growth, improving health and educational services, supporting women’s empowerment, facilitating human rights, strengthening Afghan civil society and independent media.”
As Breitbart correctly pointed out, the Afghan government doesn’t exactly have a stellar record of properly managing foreign aid and is known for decades of deep corruption. Blinken, not surprisingly, failed to mention that in his announcement.
The United States Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) found that some $2 billion in United States aid to Afghanistan — taxpayer dollars — was either unaccounted for or misused. American funding has also been grossly wasted in the country, with one example being the construction of expensive soccer stadiums that were never used.
While it remains to be seen if the Biden administration follows through on pulling out our remaining troops from the country, Blinken’s announcement made clear that the U.S. government is very much interested in playing politics in Afghanistan for the forseeable future, at the expense of the American taxpayer.