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    Members of a breakaway faction of the Taliban fighters guard during a patrol in Shindand district of Herat province, Afghanistan (File)

    'Mostly Failed': SIGAR Slams US 16-Year Effort to Stabilize Afghanistan

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States has failed to stabilize Afghanistan despite 16 years of occupation and billions invested in stability programs, the US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) said in a report.

    "Between 2001 and 2017, US government efforts to stabilize insecure and contested areas in Afghanistan mostly failed," the report said on Thursday.

    The US Defense Department and USAID, the report added, during this time period spent around $4.7 billion on so-called "stabilization" initiatives, but the projects failed to improve Afghan government capacity and performance and in many cases were counterproductive.

    "The effort to legitimize the government was undermined when the very Afghans brought in to lead the efforts themselves became sources of instability as repellent as (if not more repellent than) the Taliban," the report said.

    In addition, transition of control in prioritized districts was made before Afghans were able to protect local populations, allowing the Taliban to fill a void in newly vacated territory, the report explained.

    The Taliban menace now extends beyond Afghanistan, according to Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, who said on Thursday that an estimated 20,000 militants in the northern part of Afghanistan pose a threat to neighboring Central Asian nations.

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    Tags:
    tension, taliban, failure, instability, militants, security, US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), USAID, US Defense Department, Afghanistan, United States
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