From 2002 through the first half of fiscal year 2009, which ends in September, the United States has committed a little over $170 billion dollars to the effort in Afghanistan. But only 7 percent of these funds were committed to foreign aid and diplomatic operations, with the remaining 93 percent allotted to Department of Defense operations.
This imbalance must be corrected. According to the Obama administration’s fiscal year 2010 budget, the United States will save approximately $330 billion from reduced combat missions in Iraq over the next five fiscal years. About $25 billion of this savings should be redirected each year to pay for the increased U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan, and up to $5 billion per year should be redirected to increase U.S. foreign aid and diplomatic operations—roughly twice as much as the amount of foreign and diplomatic aid that has been provided to Afghanistan in any year since 2002.
Strict oversight and Afghan government accountability is fundamental to improving the effectiveness of this increased aid.
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