We have a budget crisis here, but we continue to spend money in almost incomprehensible amounts in afghanistan. I use the word "spend" advisedly, since "waste", "piss away" or "throw down a rat hole" seems more accurate. We are debating throwing elderly off medicare and the poor off medicaid, but we have billions to piss away on trying to transform a tribal country living in the middle ages into a jeffersonian democracy. Somehow our military brass, led by Gen. Patreus, have convinced themselves that the same strategy employed so successfully here in the War on Poverty can also work in afghanistan. So we dutifully build roads, bridges, airfields, hospitals, schools, etc, none of which can or will be maintained by the afghanis once we leave. It costs us a staggering $1 million per year per soldier we have there, not counting a lifetime of medical expenses and shattered lives from those returning with horrifying injuries. We have the most expensive army in the history of the world, but they cannot prevail against a foe which can call on unlimited numbers of brainwashed youths from pakistan, all educated in radical madrass schools paid for by our great allies the Saudis. To appreciate the madness, read this from a recent Washington Post article: " Last year, the United States spent nearly $1.3 billion on military and civilian reconstruction operations in one district of Helmand province â home to 80,000 people who live mostly in mud-brick compounds â about as much as it provided to Egypt in military assistance." Every trader here recognizes that we are throwing good money after bad. Too bad our leaders can't.