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Monday, August 11, 2003

Afghanistan--Bush Quagmire I
Already the signs are there -- a boom in opium production, rampant banditry and huge swaths of territory unsafe for Western aid workers. The central government has almost no power over regional warlords who control roads and extort money from truck drivers, choking commerce and trade.

If the country slips into anarchy, it risks becoming a haven for resurgent Taliban and al-Qaida fighters. And the point of U.S. military action here could be lost -- a major setback in the war against terrorism.

Money spent on the war may end up being wasted, and dragging the country back from chaos could be even more costly. America spends about $900 million a month on its forces stationed here, but little of the $3 billion authorized for aid in the Freedom Support Act has been spent.
-- LA Times

So its $0.9 billion per month for Afghanistan, $3.9 billion per month for Iraq. While I think the war in Afghanistan was wrong and unnecessary, at least there were real ties between al Qaeda and the Taliban (not as much as between al Qaeda and the Saudi or Pakistani governments, but that's another story). Shouldn't those who believe that the "war on terror" is a good thing be questioning why we're wasting more money and lives in Iraq than we are in Afghanistan?