Afghanistan set to face heavy US withdrawal symptoms
Afghan military ‘on its back foot’ and the nation remains ‘poor, aid-dependent and conflict-affected’
After spending at least $837bn (R12.52-trillion), the US military is leaving an Afghanistan that “remains poor, aid-dependent, and conflict-affected, with any potential economic growth in the short term, further limited by the lingering effects of the Covid-19 pandemic”, according to the latest report by Congress’s independent watchdog.
The grim accounting was offered on Thursday by the special inspector-general for Afghanistan Reconstruction, the office that has documented billions in waste and corruption since lawmakers created it in fiscal 2008. The report was published just weeks before American forces are expected to complete their withdrawal after nearly 20 years.
“The news coming out of Afghanistan this quarter has been bleak,” John Sopko, the inspector-general, wrote in his report covering the quarter ending on June 30, with some updates for more recent events. “The Taliban offensive that began early in the quarter accelerated in June and July.”..