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By Wolf Blitzer, CNN
It’s hard to believe, but American taxpayers are still shelling out $2 billion a week in Afghanistan. That adds up to more than $100 billion a year.
Maintaining a U.S. military presence in Afghanistan of nearly 100,000 U.S. troops is certainly not cheap.
U.S. taxpayers are spending billions trying to build up the Afghan military and police force.
More billions are spent on economic development, including the construction of roads, schools, power plants and hospitals.
All this is happening more than 10 years after 9/11 and after the death of Osama bin Laden. Nation building in Afghanistan remains a major U.S. objective.
But so many experts on Afghanistan are now concluding that this money is not being well spent.
The angry and deadly Afghan reaction to the mistaken burning of Muslim holy books is underlining the notion that the Afghan people don’t really want the U.S. and NATO troops in their country. They want these forces out.
These troops are supposed to remain in Afghanistan at least until the end of 2014. That’s another nearly three years.
Given the trends unfolding in Afghanistan right now and the enormous political pressure on U.S. leaders to reduce spending overseas and focus on domestic needs, I suspect that the pullout of U.S. and NATO troops will accelerate.
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