The Washington Times reports on a Congressional hearing on Afghanistan, at which representatives of the Obama administration were unable to answer questions on the cost – in money or lives – of America’s ongoing intervention in that country.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing on what will happen in Afghanistan after most U.S. troops leave in 2014. Witnesses included “James F. Dobbins, State’s special representative to Afghanistan and Pakistan; Donald Sampler, assistant to the administrator, U.S. Agency for International Development, which provides civilian foreign aid; and Michael Dumont, deputy assistant secretary of defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia.”
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher of California asked ““How much are we spending annually in Afghanistan? How much is the cost to the American taxpayer?”
He was met with stone silence from the witness panel. Mr. Dobbins gestured to the other witnesses for the answer. They, too, came up empty.
“Anybody know?” Mr. Rohrabacker asked. “Nobody knows the total budget, what we’re spending in Afghanistan. It’s a hearing on Afghanistan. Can I have an estimate?
“I’m sorry, congressman,” Mr. Dobbins said.
Mr. Rohrabacker called the lack of an answer “disheartening.”
“How many killed and wounded have we suffered in the last 12 months,” he asked.
Again, none of the three had an answer. Mr. Dumont said he would get back to him.