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Helga Zepp-LaRouche at CGTN event: “Party building and the new generation”

The dialogue appeared live on Youtube, the CGTN website and different social media accounts. See here:

CGTN on Facebook
CGTN on Twitter
CGTN’s Webseite CGTN on Weibo

Schiller Institute President Helga Zepp-LaRouche added a profound call for sanity in an interview on China’s CGTN TV today. Asked to make suggestions for today’s youth in a moment of great peril, she responded that the fundamental issue is the image of mankind, with two opposite views being contested. The one is that of the Malthusian and oligarchical view, that man is a parasite, polluting Mother Nature, and the fewer people the better, a view most evident in those promoting the climate scare. The other view is that which perceives that every person is sacred, blessed with the power of reason, capable of making discoveries of new principles of nature which can be applied to enhanced production and higher standards of living for all. She said that it is time for all of humanity to unite behind this elevated view, to form a common party of mankind which unites citizens of all countries in a common mission, without contradicting the interests of the diverse and beautiful cultures of the world. To start this process, she said, mankind must unite behind the urgent need to end the pandemic, and all future pandemics, by building modern health facilities in every country. This would create a potential branching point for the human race, building the basic infrastructure required for the health of all people, and ending once and for all the idea that poverty is an unavoidable part of civilization which can not be eliminated. In 100 years, she added, when we have become a space faring species, national boundaries will be less important.


Sicily Daily Runs Call by Committee for Coincidence of Opposites on Afghanistan Emergency

Under the headline “Afghanistan, the Committee for the Republic: Let Us Help It,” the daily Il Corriere di Sicilia published the Dec. 10 call by the Committee for the Coincidence of Opposites with an endorsement by Alessia Ruggeri.

The paper quotes Ruggeri saying: “I join the declaration by Helga Zepp-LaRouche, president of the Schiller Institute, which has highlighted that for more than two months no one has talked about Afghanistan, totally ignoring the emergency and the fact that, with the confiscation of funds, the population is likely to die of hunger and hardship,” and it continues: “These are the words of Alessia Ruggeri, spokesperson of the political movement ‘Committee for the Republic’ member of the Committee for the Coincidence of the Opposites that supports the call by David Beasley, director of the WFP, which states that immediate support from the West is needed, defining it as a moral test for the West.” See the Italian original.


Zepp-LaRouche on CGTN Dialogue Program – “Democracy Summit” Examined

Dec. 5 (EIRNS)—On Sunday, Dec. 5, Schiller Institute founder Helga Zepp-LaRouche joined a special hour-long episode of the CGTN program “Dialogue: Ideas Matter,” with host Xu Qinduo to discuss the concept of “democracy.” This is part of an assertive and confident push by China to challenge the absurd “Democracy Summit” hosted at the end of the week by the United States.

Xu put the first question to Helga Zepp-LaRouche: what does democracy mean? Zepp-LaRouche pointed out that democracy wasn’t necessarily considered a good thing by Plato, to whom it was the other side of the coin of tyranny. Beyond the use of the term, it is essential to look at what governments do. Open-minded people considering China’s approach to democracy will recognize that it has advantages not present among the “Western” democracies.

Martin Sieff, with the Global Policy Institute spoke next, emphasizing that there does not exist a single form of democracy in the world. Social democracies, Japan, India, the United States—these are different types of democracies.

Politburo member Huang Kunming appeared next, in the form of a clip from a recent speech. He reminded his audience that the Communist Party of China arose in the pursuit of democracy to replace the old feudal order, and it continues to lead the fight for Chinese democracy. This phrase itself means that people are the rulers, and the purpose of government. And there is no one-size-fits-all approach to democracy. Indeed, having such a view is itself undemocratic. Allow the people of each nation to decide.

The next guest, Dr. Wang Huiyao, a member of the China State Council, discussed what is meant by “whole process people’s democracy.” There is a consultative democracy, whereby suggestions and criticisms from across the country are considered. The selection and election process itself is designed to ensure that the people best able to serve the people take office. The powerful development and social development of China vindicates its approach.

Michele Geraci, of Italy, agreed that the point of government is to achieve results, to provide for the people (unlike a feudal system). He contrasted process-democracy with results-oriented democracy. Which system delivers better results for the people; results that people will be happy with?

Following a clip in which the head of China Media Group asked whether the people of Afghanistan benefitted from American democracy, and whether George Floyd benefitted from democracy, Zepp-LaRouche was asked whether the police reflect the will of the people. She pointed out that the militarization of the police over decades has created problems, and that the people of the United States are extremely polarized. Biden said he’d unify the country. But the only way to bring about a unity is to collaborate on a worthwhile mission, as did the Founders, Lincoln, FDR, and JFK. Afghanistan represents the enormous failure of attempting to impose a model on another country. And the theft and withdrawal of financial and other resources from that nation is a terrible crime.

The Syrian Ambassador to the P.R.C., Imad Moustapha, spoke up to say that the United States is in no position to be the cardinal arbiter of what democracy is, or to declare whether another nation’s system is democratic. The United States is truly a single party state, ruled by the rich, which cynically uses the terms “democracy” and “freedom” to justify its policies.

Must the concept of “democracy” itself be updated to be more relevant to the modern, connected world, asked the host. Michele Geraci compared the cartelized control of social media to the feudal order in which individual rulers could make decisions, rather than a government that is answerable to the general welfare.

Sergey Shakhray, former Deputy Prime Minister of Russia, spoke in the form of a video clip, to say that by creating a division line between democracies and autocracies ignores the actual outcomes provided by China and many Western nations. Former Japanese Prime Minister Hatoyama also spoke to the need to look for commonalities with other nations, rather than focusing on differences.

Zepp-LaRouche responded that it was absolutely necessary to seek out shared interests. A dialogue of cultures can best proceed by seeking out the best aspects of other countries and cultures. She took on the descent into broadly expressed anti-Americanism that had entered the discussion to point to the powerful historical successes of European culture. The Italian Renaissance was based on the idea of man as a limitlessly perfectible being. The problem in the West is not that we did not have a great tradition, but that we moved away from it to a liberal outlook in which everything is allowed, creating a decadence of culture. “To focus on the common aims of mankind, we must appeal to the best traditions of each culture.” Zepp-LaRouche called for joining together to achieve modern health care in every nation, with a particular focus on Operation Ibn Sina to begin with Afghanistan, which is in such great need, along with such countries as Haiti, Yemen and Syria. Building health infrastructure goes hand in hand with overall development, both requiring and enabling it.

The common aims of mankind should be more clearly defined, and present conditions provide the opportunity for a breakthrough. Contrast the inflation of the trans-Atlantic with the physical economic growth typified by the Belt and Road Initiative. {The full Dialogue can be accessed here.}

The broadcast reflected China’s confident efforts to undermine the “Democracy Summit” and the need for a greater understanding in China of the history of and fights within extended European civilization, including, emphatically, the United States.


Project Ibn Sina: Restore Afghanistan’s Ancient Greatness

 Nov. 21 (EIRNS)–This is the edited transcript of the speech delivered by Mrs. LaRouche, the founder of the international Schiller Institutes, on November 17 to the online conference, “Humanitarian Roundtable for Afghanistan,” sponsored by the Council on Global Relations (CGR) located in Metro Washington D.C. The conference was convened by the CGR to address “the need for urgent assistance and a shift in narrative,” and to “make a difference in the lives of 39 million Afghan people facing a collapsed economy in the heart of a brutal winter coming out of 40 years of war.”

Hello to all of you.
I just want to state emphatically that the money that is being withheld by the U.S. Treasury—but also Commerzbank, Bundesbank, and the Bank for International Settlements—this money belongs to the Afghan people. I think that this is what we have to face, given the situation that was pointed out by both Dr. Beasley [of the UN World Food Program] and Dr. Tedros from the World Health Organization, that 97% of the people are in danger of being food insecure. And food insecure is just another word for starving to death.

Then you have a health crisis—95% of the people have no access to healthcare. And that is happening in a condition of famine and of the COVID crisis. So, to withhold that money for any more days means you’re risking the lives of people. So, I think the first step must be an absolute demand that the money which rightfully belongs to the Afghan people must be released without condition. I think this idea of giving it piecemeal and making conditions and so forth, that just will contribute to chaos. It will force the Taliban to resort to opium production, which they do not want to do. I think I mentioned in a previous discussion that Pino Arlacchi, the UN special representative in the fight against drugs in 2000, had an agreement with the Taliban, in which they agreed to stop all opium production.

The increase of the opium production occurred during the NATO presence—especially this year, opium production went up by nine percent in the period before the Taliban took over. Then the price shot up to the sky, because there was an expectation that Taliban would not continue the opium production. The price went up because of potential scarcity. So, the people who are withholding the money from the Taliban are pushing the opium trade! That should be stated very, very clearly.

Secondly, if you’re now not supporting a government that you may not like politically—but it’s there—and if you don’t support them being successful, you are encouraging the opposition. And what is the opposition? It has been largely terrorist groups, and you know that terrorism will spread, not only in Afghanistan but throughout the region. The big question is that maybe that is the intention, as a geopolitical force against the countries in the region, especially Russia and China.

So, the people who are withholding the money—and I want to be very, very clear, because there is no point in talking about nice things if that is not settled first—the people who are withholding the money are doing it completely illegally. And I think they should be held accountable. Any death which occurs from here on will be the guilt of the people withholding the money. And I think that has to be stated first.

I think if we can agree on that, then I’m willing to talk about a better vision. Psychologically, I can understand that it is very difficult for the NATO countries and their armies, after having lost a war having been in the country for 20 years. I talked to some people who were there, and I understand that this is a trauma. They did not expect it, and they are having a very hard time switching to another mental attitude. But that has to occur if Afghanistan is to be saved.

I have thought a lot about what can be done to give hope to a country that has gone through hell for the last 40 years. And really through hell for the last several 100 years—going back to the Great Game, to Brzezinski and his Islamic card that started this whole present disaster. People in Afghanistan have lived through trauma, and they need something to put the country back together with a beautiful vision. This region of the world was once known as the land of the 1,000 cities. Admittedly, this was on the order of 3,000 years ago, but there was once a period in which this region was one of the cradles of mankind. I think to be grounded in one’s own great tradition is a very important stepping-stone for building a positive future.

Then, naturally, there are many poets one could mention. The fact is that there is a health crisis right now of biblical dimensions, a pandemic which is unprecedented in terms of the potential of where it may go. So, my idea is: It has to start with the modern health system. Afghanistan needs modern hospitals. They can be built in two weeks. The Chinese proved in Wuhan that you can build a modern hospital of 1,000 beds in two weeks. Then you need doctors, modern, educated doctors, nurses, health workers. A lot of the diaspora Afghanis are doctors. They are in the United States, they are in Europe. They can be mobilized to come back and help to build a modern health system. And that modern health system can be the beginning of an economic transformation. If you are going to have a modern health system, you need water, you need electricity, you need other infrastructure. But that building of a modern health system can become the engine of hope and the engine of economic reconstruction. This, however, needs to have a beautiful vision, an idea of what that means.

Many years ago, I studied the works of Avicenna, or Ibn Sina as he is called in the Arab world. He was one of the great universal thinkers. He lived from 980 A.D. to 1038 A.D. He was not only an extraordinary thinker; he developed philosophical conceptions which had influence way beyond the Arab world, and to the Mediterranean, and to European thinkers. But especially it is known that he was an extraordinary physician. He wrote several medical books, and a canon on medicine which was the standard work in Europe until the 17th Century, and in some cases even the 19th Century. He developed an idea of the anatomy of the body, the nerve system, the psychology. He knew about new diseases like breast cancer. He developed the connection between muscles and nerves. He wrote a whole book about modern medicines based on herbs and other such things. But he is famously known to have been one of the great sons of Afghanistan.

He was probably born in Bactria. There are also some people who say, no, he was born in Bukhara, or maybe in Persia. It does not matter. His father was for sure born in Bactria, and he is for sure a son of the region.

He is an example of how somebody coming from Afghanistan can be a contributor to universal history, by moving mankind forward, by developing a whole new, modern medical science. So, I’m suggesting that the effort to save Afghanistan be called Operation Ibn Sina, because it somehow captures both the proud tradition and also a vision that Afghanistan again can be a pearl of the nations of the world. Afghanistan will be contributing something to other nations. You need to give people who have gone through such hell a vision of a beautiful future.

I think that would capture the imagination of a lot of the people, both inside Afghanistan and out. The danger is terrorism and drugs, and you want to have an image which presents a completely different future, one based on the intellectual tradition which made this country a great country in the past, and it means that it will again be a great country in the future.

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New World Food Program Emergency Appeal: 45 Million People on Verge of Starvation; $7 Bil Aid Required – or “Hell on Earth”

Nov. 8 (EIRNS)–The World Food Program has issued an emergency statement in the last 24 hours, reporting on the rise to 45 million people of those who are on the brink of starvation worldwide. This is an increase of 3 million from only a few weeks ago. The 45 million people are in 43 nations, and the recent increase is from Haiti, Ethiopia, Somalia, Kenya, Burundi and Kenya. Compare this 45 million number to 27 million, who were in this dire condition in 2019, which already was an intolerable number. Then came the pandemic, and now the hyperinflationary breakdown.

The WFP has raised its appeal for funds to cover the crisis up to $7 billion from $6.6. billion…” WFP Executive Director David Beasley explained that, “As the cost of humanitarian assistance rises exponentially, we need more funds to reach families across the globe who have already exhausted their capacity to cope with extreme hunger.”

Beasley stressed in the report, “Fuel costs are up, food prices are soaring, fertilizer is more expensive, and all of this feeds into new crises like the one unfolding now in Afghanistan, as well as long-standing emergencies like Yemen and Syria.”

Beasley was in Afghanistan over the weekend, on a fact-finding mission, where the WFP is ramping up its operations for aid to nearly 23 million people there. He told BBC yesterday, “It is as bad as you possibly can imagine, …In fact, we’re now looking at the worst humanitarian crisis on Earth. Ninety-five percent of the people don’t have enough food, and now we’re looking at 23 million people marching towards starvation,” he added. “The next six months are going to be catastrophic. It is going to be hell on Earth.”

He said, “To the world leaders, to the billionaires: imagine that this was your little girl or your little boy, or your grandchild about to starve to death. You would do everything you possibly could, and when there’s $400 trillion worth of wealth on the earth today, … shame on us that we let a single child die of hunger. Shame on us. I don’t care where that child is.”


China to U.S.: Choose Economic Development or Opium in Afghanistan

Nov. 9, 2021 (EIRNS)—China’s Global Times has some sound advice for the U.S. and its Western partners on how to best stop opium, build security, and secure political liberties in Afghanistan: help get its economy going again. 

While the West “ponders” whether to give aid to Afghanistan, China’s ambassador in Kabul was busy opening an “Afghan trade lifeline.” The ambassador arranged for a Nov. 1 air shipment of 45 tons of Afghan pine nuts from Kabul to Shanghai. There, they were quickly packed and quickly sold on-line, Global Times reporter Mu Lu wrote yesterday, in an article titled “Afghans deserve to be better off through hard work, not planting opium.” 

“How can a country achieve stability and long-term development, if its people live on drug cultivation?” Mu asked. Under the occupation and war, Afghanistan’s old infrastructure was destroyed, little new built, agriculture and animal husbandry stagnated, and Afghanistan became the world’s largest producer of opium. Washington now promises to offer humanitarian assistance, but only after freezing “nearly $9.5 billion in assets belonging to the Afghan central bank …. sow[ing] the seeds of economic collapse in Afghanistan.” 

A Middle East Studies Institute professor at Shanghai International Studies University, Liu Zhongmin, made the key point: “Afghanistan will not realize stability without the fundamental underpinnings of economic development.” If the international community would start from the perspective of development, and help Afghanistan “integrate into the outside world with its own resources and advantages, ensuring the country a foothold in its own industry, the Afghan people will have the chance to really develop their motherland with assistance from other countries.”

Mu Lu concludes: “Stable, reliable work and income are important to help Afghanistan emerge from the drug economy of the past 20 years, and to give the Afghan people the opportunity to earn their way to prosperity. It is better to teach a man to fish than to give him fish. This is the responsible way to help Afghanistan.” 

The Schiller Institute will be discussing some bold ideas for how to do this with Afghan and other representatives this week in Panel 2, “The Science of Physical Economy,” on the first day of its international conference this coming weekend. {Register today at: https://schillerinstitute.nationbuilder.com/202111_13-14_conference.}


Afghan Authorities Set Up a Military Base in Badakhshan Province To Fight Drug Traffickers

Nov. 2 (EIRNS)—PARIS, Nov. 2, 2021 (Nouvelle Solidarité)— According to Radio Free Europe/ Radio Liberty, Taliban officials in Badakhshan Province have confirmed that they have set up a military unit to combat drug traffic. Nisar Ahmad Ahmadi, the Taliban’s deputy governor in Badakhshan, said that they had set up a military organization to provide security in Badakhshan and fight drug trafficking. He added, “The smuggling of drugs from Badakhshan cannot be ruled out, because we have a common border [with Tajikistan] and it is possible.”

In the past, says RFE/RL, there has been a similar body in the Afghan government that has worked with the Tajik authorities to combat drug trafficking. However, with the advent of the Taliban, there are no diplomatic ties between the two countries, and it is unclear whether there is any contact or cooperation between the two sides. Afghanistan’s northern border is one of the main transit routes for drugs to Russia and Europe. 

Afghanistan’s Badakhshan province, which shares a long border with Tajikistan, is one of 22 provinces in Afghanistan where opium poppy has been grown and large quantities of opium have been harvested in the past two years. This opium was processed in drug factories in the same region and turned into heroin.


Schiller Institute Urges Funds for Afghan Health Platform; British Urge Billions to Fight Mythical `Global Warming’

Oct. 31 (EIRNS)–Schiller Institute Chair Helga Zepp-LaRouche in her weekly webcast yesterday reported that more than 2,000 hospitals in Afghanistan had closed during the fighting in that nation. Even more shocking, only 100 hospitals, most lacking medical supplies and adequate personnel, remain for 38 million people.

Mrs. LaRouche called on her audience to mobilize immediate emergency aid to be sent from the United States, Europe and the whole world; China has already done so. She called the needed supply action, “Operation Ibn Sina,” after the famous Persian doctor born in today’s Afghanistan, considered one of the greatest scientists of the Islamic Golden Age, and the father of modern medicine. Of the 250 books Ibn Sina is estimated to have written, 40 deal with medicine, including The Book of Healing, and the Canon of Medicine (which became a standard medical text at medieval universities until about 1650).

In a cynical juxtaposition to this heroic effort to save the nation of Afghanistan, police estimated last summer that the current “Climate Summit” in Glasgow could cost “several hundred million pounds,” nearly half a billion U.S. dollars. COP 26 will be the largest summit the U.K. has ever held, with up to 200 leaders expected. Better they stay home and focus on Operation Ibn Sina instead.


Schiller Institute’s Helga Zepp-LaRouche Calls for Urgent Support Action For Afghanistan—“Operation Ibn Sina”

Oct. 30 (EIRNS)–Schiller Institute founder and President, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, in a discussion on Afghanistan Oct. 29 on Islamabad TV, said that she is promoting the Schiller Institute’s proposed solution to Afghanistan, in terms she calls, “Operation Ibn Sina.” Zepp-LaRouche participated on the program from Germany, and has indicated that she will be filling out this “Ibn Sina” initiative very soon.

She stressed at the outset that we are “at a watershed” time, in which the United States and other nations now holding back, must instead work closely with the Afghan government, which is the Taliban. Release the Afghan government’s funds, support stabilization and a future. The alternative is chaos, more opium production, mass death and terrorism.

The TV broadcast was PTV World, hosted by Omar Khalid Butt, on his Views on News program, whose additional guests for the 42 minute discussion were Dr. Andrej Kortunov, Chairman of RIAC (Russian International Affairs Council) in Moscow, and Dr. Farah Naz, foreign affairs expert in Pakistan.

Zepp-LaRouche explained her proposal, in her closing remarks, addressing the significance of Ibn Sina. “He was a doctor, who probably was born in what is today Afghanistan, and he was the most famous doctor until the 17th century, who wrote books which were studied in all of Europe.

“So he’s a hero in the history of Afghanistan., and right now there is a huge health crisis—COVID-19. More than 2000 hospitals have closed down…

“The international community—everybody who wants to be part of the solution, [must] help to build up a modern health system in Afghanistan, as the first step to stabilizing the situation, [therefore] give that the name, Ibn Sina.

“He can rally all the different ethnic groups inside Afghanistan, because he’s a figure of the national history, a hero; and he gives pride, and also hope, for a good future in Afghanistan.

“And building a modern health system can be the first step, because to build a modern system, you need energy, water and infrastructure…”

                                  Deadly Great Game

Butt began his program by asking the guests to address all aspects of the significance of the crisis situation in Afghanistan, including “the geopolitical and strategic.” In opening the discussion, he showed the video clip of Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov issuing a call at a Tehran conference (by video) earlier this week, that Afghanistan’s neighboring countries “not allow a military presence of U.S. and NATO forces which plan to move there after leaving Afghan territory.” 

Zepp-LaRouche denounced such a prospect as a continuation of the British Great Game, which is unacceptable. Dr. Naz put forward that chaos can well be “the larger goal” of Western circles, which see the rising of China as a threat to be stopped, and are perpetrating vast harm in the Afghanistan region “by design.” Zepp-LaRouche described the West as “in a real collapse phase,” and should shift, instead, to working with China’s Belt and Road Initiative. In the immediate term, massive aid must be supplied to Afghanistan to prevent genocide.

The same day at the Pakistan TV colloquy, the latest grim report on the humanitarian situation in Afghanistan was summarized by UN Undersecretary for Humanitarian Aid, Martin Griffiths, in an AP interview. He said, “The needs are skyrocketing.” The Winter snows have started. The World Food Program, which had already been supplying daily food, not just supplemental aid, to four million people, is now facing this number rising to 12 million people. These are people completely dependent on receiving all their daily food, or they will die. In addition, another 12 million need supplemental food.

Dr. Kortunov led off his remarks with three fundamental points: supply the food, act on the medical needs, COVID-19 in particular, and get fuel to people. Later in the dialogue, he forcefully made the additional point that, with the right policies and follow through, we could expect to see Afghanistan, this beautiful mountainous nation, be “the Switzerland” of Central Asia. There are the soils, the water, the location, the resources, the youth and all the other assets.

The full PTV World broadcast can be reviewed here.


Afghanistan IG Blasts State & Defense Departments for Restricting Information on Afghanistan

Oct. 30 (EIRNS)–John Sopko, the Special Inspector General For Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), blasted the State and Defense departments for their lack of cooperation with his office in remarks prepared for the Military Reporters & Editors Association Annual Conference yesterday. “U.S. agencies have not made honest reporting easy for SIGAR” or for the news media in reporting on the war in Afghanistan, he said. Sopko described efforts, some very recent, by the two departments to restrict the information available to the public in SIGAR’s reports, among them the fact that SIGAR has to put some information for its quarterly reports into classified annexes, all of which, he argued, should be declassified.

The State Department claims that its requests to restrict information is to protect Afghans who worked with the U.S. occupation but, Sopko said, “State was never able to describe any specific threats to individuals that were supposedly contained in our reports, nor did State ever explain how removing our reports now could possibly protect anyone since many were years old and already extensively disseminated worldwide.”

Sopko reported that he recently received a letter from the State Department asking that 2,400 items on the SIGAR website, attached to the letter in spreadsheet form, be redacted. “[I]t quickly became clear to us that State had little, if any, criteria for determining whether the information actually endangered anyone – and I think you will agree with me that some of the requests were bizarre to say the least.” Among them was a request that SIGAR redact the name of Ashraf Ghani from its reports. “While I’m sure the former President may wish to be excised from the annals of history, I don’t believe he faces any threats simply from being referenced by SIGAR,” Sopko said. He added that SIGAR’s own risk assessment found all but four of State’s 2,400 redaction requests to be without merit.

Sopko argued that the main reason why few people understand why the U.S./NATO-created Afghan government fell so quickly in August is because of the information that the State and Defense departments have withheld from release. This includes information compiled on the performance of the Afghan security forces since 2015. “This information almost certainly would have benefited Congress and the public in assessing whether progress was being made in Afghanistan and, more importantly, whether we should have ended our efforts there earlier,” Sopko said. “Yet SIGAR was forced to relegate this information into classified appendices, making it much more difficult for Members of Congress to access the information, and completely eliminating public and press access to and discussion of that information.”

The documents now known as the Afghanistan Papers were originally produced in Sopko’s office and they showed, among other things, that the private assessments of U.S. officials often contradicted their public statements on the “progress” the U.S. was making in Afghanistan.

SIGAR also released its latest quarterly report, yesterday, in which it found that more than $100 billion went down the drain when the government collapsed on August 15. The United States provided $89 billion in training and equipping the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces and more than $17 billion “in on-budget assistance” to the Afghan government, according to the report. The net result of all of this expenditure is now zero as the government it was meant to support no longer exists.


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