Americans poured billions of dollars into rebuilding Iraq's economy and infrastructure after our military toppled Saddam Hussein from power. The result has not been satisfactory. Iraq continues to be torn by sectarian violence. U.S. policy toward Afghanistan has been a mirror image of the Iraq failure, in many ways.
At one point, the measure included $63.8 million to develop Afghanistan's mining and energy industries. That money no longer is in the latest bill. One of 17 amendments added to the bill by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., removes the $63.8 million. Manchin's amendment stipulates that if Afghanistan agrees to reimburse American taxpayers from mining and energy profits, the $63.8 million can be spent.
Manchin is right. U.S. taxpayers cannot afford to continue pouring fortunes down foreign ratholes.