U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ryan Crocker told Reuters that American forces must continue the fight against the Taliban and for a stable Afghanistan as "the ultimate guarantee that there will not be another 9/11."
"It is going to require more resources, its going to require time," said Crocker, a career diplomat who also served as Ambassador to Iraq. "I hope we can bring all those to bear, because as hard, painful, as expensive as this has been in blood and treasure, it has cost a lot less than 9/11 did."
More than 1,600 U.S. soldiers have died in Afghanistan, and the war has cost nearly $450 billion, according to the Congressional Research Service. Civilian casualties are also at the highest level since the war began, Reuters reported, and after nearly a decade of fighting, the Taliban have a greater reach in Afghanistan than at any time since they were driven from power in 2001. In an interview at the Ambassador's residence in Kabul, Crocker acknowledged that Americans are "war-weary" and conceded that errors in planning and coordinating the military and economic aid have hindered the effort to defeat the Taliban and build a secure Afghanistan. A report issued last week by the U.S. Commission on Wartime Contracting found $30 billion had been wasted in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade. "At least that much could again turn into waste if the host governments are unable or unwilling to sustain US-funded projects after our involvement ends," the report's authors warned.
Click here to read the entire article.