Background Briefing: August 17, 2021
$2 Trillion Blindly Spent on Afghanistan While a Half is Hotly Debated in the Senate Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill
We begin with the assurances coming from the Taliban that they will not engage in reprisal killings now that they have taken over Afghanistan but for the area around the Kabul airport where 6,000 U.S. troops will be guarding the perimeter inside of which are Western evacuees and desperate Afghans. It is not clear how those outside of the enclave will be able to escape given that the Taliban surround the area. Joining us to discuss how the killing of Bin Laden would have been a good time to declare victory and bring the troops home is Thomas Mockaitis, a Professor of History at DePaul University who has taught counter-terrorism courses for the past 13 years at venues around the world as part of the U.S. Department of Defense Counter-terrorism Fellowship Program. We discuss his article at The Hill, “Afghanistan’s collapse was swift, but it was a long time in the making” and how with little debate and Congressional oversight, we blindly spent $2 trillion on Afghanistan which is twice the amount that was hotly debated in the Senate bipartisan infrastructure bill many are celebrating.
The Current Pragmatism of the Taliban is Not to be Trusted