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White House Unhappy with Senate Afghan Report

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TEHRAN, June 9 (ICANA) – White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says that President Obama disagrees with the negative picture portrayed in a recent congressional report that has found millions of dollars are being wasted on unsustainable programs in Afghanistan.
Thursday, June 09, 2011 10:12:37 PM
White House Unhappy with Senate Afghan Report

The report by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said that aid being used for projects in area where the Taliban have been cleared could be wasted as those projects or investments might not last after American forces withdraw. It concluded that the U.S. was spending $320 million a month on aid with limited success. The Hill

The panel's Democrats issued a report saying that nearly $19 billion in aid over a decade has generated waste and corruption and been of limited success. USA Today

The mind-boggling cost of the war, estimated at $2bn a week or $110bn a year, is increasingly insupportable as President Obama's 2012 re-election bid looms. Guardian

The report also warned that Afghanistan could "suffer a severe economic depression when foreign troops leave in 2014." USA Today

President Obama's nominee to become the new U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan argued that the United States must continue investing in the country to keep it from again becoming a haven for terrorists. He told the committee that "if Iraq was hard . . . Afghanistan in many respects is harder." Washington Post

According to the report, 97 percent of Afghanistan's gross domestic product is linked to spending by the international military and donor community. And it noted that U.S.-backed stabilization programs have had limited success in kick-starting the domestic economy, despite about $18.8 billion being spent over 10 years. Rferl.org

FACTS & FIGURES

The Obama administration's budget proposal for fiscal 2012 includes $118 billion for the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan, on top of the base budget of $553 billion. Thenews.com.pk

The United States has spent $1.15 trillion dollars on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. Costofwar.com

The U.S. currently has about 100,000 troops in Afghanistan. Guardian

Influential people such as Senator Carl Levin are demanding a minimum drawdown of 15,000 by year's end. Some Democrats want them all home well before the target date of 2014. Obama says he will give his decision in a speech later this month. Guardian

On March 7, 2011, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that Washington will keep its troops in Afghanistan beyond President Barack Obama's 2014 deadline. BBC

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