Friday, October 21, 2011

US Funds 90% of Afghanistan's Total Security, Will Afghanistan Go Back to Rock-Paper-Scissor When US Leaves?

President Karzai Welcomes President Obama to KabulImage via Wikipedia"Chairman Karzai, I reaffirm to you today...Image via WikipediaSecretary Rice meets with Afghan President Ham...Image via WikipediaIn 2009, I wondered out loud in this blog -- Did we legally adopt Afghanistan while we were asleep? It's like Alan Harper of Three and a Half Men asking to stay in his brother's house, who then end up staying forever ( or at least, until his brother died). Only, in our case, it's the reverse; we're like the dead rich brother, before he died.

In August, I finally came to a sad conclusion that our pretend 51st state of Afghanistan is no longer a laughing matter. 

Do you know how bad is the state of our public schools in this country?  I've seen 5th graders who can't even spell, locate their state on the U.S. map, much less, do simple arithmetic when buying a chocolate bar.  If we want to be competitive in the 21st century, we need our limited money invested on the future of this country. But our public officials and politicians seem to think that our work in Afghanistan is essential to our future in the new century. So we pour money over there like there is no tomorrow. Saving Afghanistan means saving us? Right.

Then you read this GAO report that says that the United States have been responsible for 90% of funds that go to Afghanistan's security expenditures from 2006-2010. So we have propped up this government, underwrite most of its expenses and what happens when we leave? Is Hamid Karzai going back to rock-paper-scissor? No? So, then, does that mean we're going to stay until the Government of Afghanistan grows its revenue from 9% to 100%, or when it is able to pay for its own soldiers' salaries and its own electric fuel, etc. etc. , whichever happens first?

I am not against foreign aid or even military aid per se. But let's keep some perspective here. We're not running on a surplus. We have an exploding boomer population, we have dilapidated public infrastructures, and we have our future suffering through some major budget cuts right now.  

And we're stuck in the muck called Afghanistan. And this is for our own good? Excuse me if I don't drink that kool aid, sir. And I really would like us to leave and let them get on with their own nation building while we do ours at home. 

Excerpted from GAO's report on Afghanistan’s Donor Dependence:

Afghanistan’s estimated total public expenditures.
Afghanistan’s estimated total public expenditures more than doubled from solar year (SY) 2006 to 2010, growing from $5.5 billion to $14.3 billion, an increase of 160 percent. Over this 5-year period, about 79 percent of Afghanistan’s estimated total public expenditures of $54 billion were off budget.

Donor funding.
The United States and other donors funded about 90 percent of Afghanistan’s estimated total public expenditures from SY2006 to 2010. In particular, donors funded on average 57 percent of on-budget expenditures and 100 percent of off-budget expenditures. Over this period, the United States provided 62 percent of estimated total public expenditures, while other donors provided 28 percent. The United States funded an estimated 90 percent of Afghanistan’s total security expenditures during this time period. The United States funded an estimated 39 percent of Afghanistan’s total non-security expenditures during SY2006 to 2010.

Afghanistan’s domestic revenues.
The domestic revenues of GIRoA grew by an average annual rate of 30 percent from SY2006 to 2010, increasing from an estimated total of $0.62 billion to $1.66 billion. Customs duties and taxes such as income and property taxes provided the largest share of domestic revenues. However, domestic revenues funded only about 9 percent of Afghanistan’s estimated total public expenditures from SY2006 to 2010.

GAO _Afghan Donor Dependence | September 2011

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