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I want connected their country -- us -- Washington is dogs that timing is a former undersecretary of defense.
And in full disclosure colleague of mine in the Reagan administration at the -- -- He's the guy that everybody looks there was some money man He was back comptroller of the -- -- a guy controlled the budgets that we want to talk to -- -- time about a couple things one about Afghanistan.
And the book that he's written.
-- his indictment of the Afghanistan policy.
And the other thing -- -- about his defense cuts as we've now seen on Capitol Hill defenses that is a -- -- juicy target for both political parties.
But a fully get it out I want to talk about you the book that you Britain you said that the United States mismanaged.
The Afghan reconstruction plan.
Well it's -- simple as this in the first couple of years the first three years of the war.
There actually wasn't much war we've defeated the Taliban and al-Qaeda in 2002.
And we had a couple of -- years.
And those years we could've put a few billion dollars in each year and I argued that had we done so.
We wouldn't be fighting -- -- today we neglected the place we essentially did not pay attention to it until the Taliban started to revive.
And then we started pouring big dollars -- in the last few years beyond what the country can really absorb so we sort of did it wrong both ways.
So in other words we diverted our attention from Afghanistan -- -- -- snatch defeat from the jaws of victory if you will and then because we went into Iraq was out why we diverted or because we lost interest.
Well I it Iraq clearly is a major factor it's not clear to me exactly why the Office of Management and Budget I think overreach they simply did not -- To the extent that the executive the rest of the executive branch wanted it to.
Both we in the Defense Department and the State Department felt that more money should go Afghanistan reconstruction that simply didn't happen.
In fact -- reach the point where.
More money was given to ambassador Bremer who was running the Coalition Provisional Authority then was given to all of Afghanistan -- that was money just for his back office operations.
Congress had to add money to the executive branch request just to increase in above what Bremer was getting that's how bad guy.
So -- service like out of a scene of Charlie Wilson's war where we've done well we defeated the Soviets and and we just stopped funding.
What could -- -- -- Iberia at the time has pretty insignificant investment in retrospect.
Today have turned things around.
I think that's exactly right I mean we've blown it twice now I hope we don't -- -- the third time.
But that's right and from that.
Viewpoint -- that Afghans -- seen us ignore them in the ninety's.
They've seen us come in and promise an awful lot and not do it for several years.
And now they seeing this announced that we're withdrawing.
They can only be really puzzled and really -- -- Let me ask you what about the idea that the Afghan government is -- -- historically for thousands of years that they've been Barack they've been incompetent they don't like outsiders.
If we -- give the kind of money that you're talking about to the Afghans and we given it to the Afghan government.
When they're just -- women have just gone down the sinkhole of corruption and incompetence.
I suspect not in May be some of that -- you're right there's a tradition out there that's very different from Mars.
But on the other hand.
We were very much it in charge the government was getting itself organized.
You they weren't the kinds of reports of corruption that we've had in the last few years.
I think we could have made a much better go a -- -- put in money and not as much as we're putting in now I mean we put in literally tens of millions of dollars.
And the country can absorb it I was talking about a couple of billion a year.
And what was being offered up was sometimes less than a billion.
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