Over the last 13 years, American taxpayers have footed an enormous bill on Afghan reconstruction projects — more inflation-adjusted dollars, in fact, than were spent on the Marshall Plan to rebuild a devastated Europe after World War II.
The Pentagon, State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development have spent the billions on building an Afghan army and police force, constructing roads, schools, health clinics and other structures, and developing governance projects such as a court system.
But have those programs been successful? The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction regularly reports that many projects have fallen woefully short of their goals or have been an outright waste (see our roundup of some of the best reporting on this issue).
We'd like to hear from people who have been directly involved in reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan (or Iraq), whether through the military, the State Department, USAID or a nongovernmental organization.
We're also interested in talking to Afghans about how they perceive American efforts. What's working and what's not? Do you know of a project that hasn't met expectations?