- Obama military downsizing leaves U.S. too weak to counter global threats, panel finds
- Sen. Tom Coburn vows to slow down budget-busting bills ahead of recess
- Obama fantasizes about more executive power, signs new order on federal contractors
- Clintons call Klein, Halper, Kessler ‘a Hat Trick of despicable actors’: report
- Boehner accuses Obama of ‘legacy of lawlessness’
- Pro-marijuana group claims responsibility for Brooklyn Bridge flag swap
- Young adults shun Obamacare mostly due to cost: survey
- Stabbing attack on transgender girl, 15, was ‘bias motivated,’ police say
- LGBT adults still lean overwhelmingly toward Democratic Party
- Lawmakers rattled by Syria genocide horrors, call on Obama to act
Obama’s deal with Afghans angers war opponents
President commits U.S. to a long-term role
Question of the Day
Since then, Taliban fighters have waged a pitched battle punctuated by attacks like the suicide bombings in Kabul on Wednesday, just after Mr. Obama’s visit. The attack left seven people dead and wounded some schoolchildren.
The Taliban broke off peace talks with the United States in March after the Obama administration failed to release five high-value Taliban operatives from the U.S. military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Their release was a key demand of the Taliban when it signaled its willingness to start official peace talks with the United States in January.
The delay in releasing the prisoners has strengthened the hands of Taliban members opposed to peace.
However, a U.S. official who briefed reporters Tuesday said the prisoners’ release had been put on hold for “reasons that appear to have to do with internal political turbulence among the Taliban.”
“It’s quite clear to us that there’s a range of interest among Taliban in reconciliation, and there’s quite a bit of internal political turbulence within the Taliban on that score,” the senior Obama administration official said.
The Taliban said Wednesday’s bombing was the start of the spring offensive.
After more than a decade of war, the U.S. has tallied nearly $570 billion in military, reconstruction and aid spending on Afghanistan, according to www.costofwar.com, run by the National Priorities Project. For 2012, $111.1 billion has been allocated, and Mr. Obama has requested $86 billion for 2013.
The group estimates the cost of war in Iraq since 2003 at $807 billion, pushing the total for both wars to $1.38 trillion. Of those funds, some $30 billion to $60 billion was squandered in waste and abuse, the nonpartisan Commission on Wartime Contracting reported last year.
Jo Comerford, the project’s executive director, said the continued U.S. presence in Afghanistan is expected to be larger than in Iraq, where the U.S. is spending $10 billion this year, so the spending in Afghanistan could balloon far past the $4 billion annual estimate.
“With all eyes on the federal budget right now, that price tag is going to have to mean budget priorities are going to have to shift to accommodate it,” she said. “Right now, the Congress is not in a position where Congress and the American people can just borrow a bit more money, we are at a moment where spending is finite.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Susan Crabtree is an award-winning investigative reporter with more than 15 years of reporting experience in Washington, D.C. Her reporting about bribery, corruption and conflict-of-interest issues on Capitol Hill has led to several FBI and ethics investigations, as well as consequences for members within their caucuses and at the ballot box. Susan can be reached at email@example.com.
- GOP senators want IG probe of Sebelius' 'Obamacare' fundraising
- Teaming up with Christie, Obama says Jersey shore 'back in business'
- No Moore: Obama flubs name of Oklahoma city devastated by tornado, calls it 'Monroe'
- Obama to Okla. tornado victims: 'We have got your back'
- Aide involved in Benghazi talking points scrubbing promoted by Obama
Latest Blog Entries
Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.
Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.
- Boko Haram takes credit for abduction of Nigerian schoolgirls, threatens to sell them
- Al Qaeda core degraded, but 'more aggressive' affiliates still pose threat to U.S.
- Political uncertainty and violence in first Iraqi election since U.S. withdraw
- Egypt judge sentences 683 Islamists to death over Morsi-tied violence
- Doctor's killing in latest Afghanistan attack puts NGOs in crosshairs
TWT Video Picks
Both parties recognize the Democrats' scam
- Inside the Ring: Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- CRUZ: A tale of two hospitals: One in Israel, one in Gaza
- Chicken pox outbreak puts illegal immigrant facility on lockdown
- Israel surprised by Hamas tunnel network
- Report: 40% of weapons sent to Afghanistan are unaccounted for
- Catholic League slams Obama: 'Do Christian lives mean so little to you?'
- GOP leaders delay border bill, leave Obama in control
- CIA admits improperly hacking Senate computers in search of Bush-era information
- Sarah Palin's online channel hits snag as Stephen Colbert buys similar URL
- 'Big Bang' star Mayim Bialik helps send bulletproof vests to IDF
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world