After nine years of war and too many vigils and rallies how do you mark yet another year of futile, tragic war? AFSC staff and volunteers in Kansas City decided to issue a “Report Card on the U.S. War in Afghanistan.”
The Report Card evaluates performance and progress in nine years of war and the impact the war has had on the Afghan people, U.S. troops and the U.S. economy.
Grades were given related to areas of Civics and Social Skills, examining our nations demonstration and fostering of honest and responsible use of resources; Health, evaluating the wellbeing and care of U.S. troops and Afghan people; History, determining in what ways we have or have not learned from the history of Afghanistan; and Math, examining the use of precious resources and the outcomes that have resulted. (Click this link to see the report card.)
The Report Card Grades were announced at a press conference outside the offices of the Louis Berger Group at 4050 Pennsylvania, Kansas City, MO, one of the largest U.S. contractors in Afghanistan managing over one billion dollars in reconstruction contracts. The grades were announced at that location because the company, in many ways, represents much that is wrong with the Afghan war. The Louis Berger Group is currently facing federal criminal and civil investigations of claims of overbilling the government. The Group is also accused of waste, fraud and shoddy construction.
These allegations reflect the reality that the war is not being driven by U.S. security concerns, nor by humanitarian motives. Instead Afghan policy is being driven by war profiteers’ greed and politics.
Following the release of the Report Card’s findings participants marched 1 ½ blocks south to the office of Senator Claire McCaskill and delivered the report card and recommendations for improvement of U.S. Afghan policy.