The Kajaki dam, the largest U.S. aid project in Afghanistan costing tax payers an estimated $100 million, is pretty symbolic of overall effort to win the hearts and minds of the people in that war-torn nation.  Our best intentions ultimately end up aiding our enemies.  Over half the power that this US funded dam generates goes directly to the Taliban and helps them grow poppy.  The poppy then goes to fund weapons for their cause.  So, again, our tax dollars are going towards killing our own soldiers. 

We are desperate to win the hearts and minds of the Afgan people.  Our solution to this problem has been to flood the country with cash and try to buy influential people off.  We also have thousands of exceedingly high paid contractors there doing things like building this dam to help give electric power to the people of the country.  However according to this article from the AP:

The massive amounts of cash infused into the country have brought nothing but more corruption.  This is the basic problem with our entire war strategy in the region.  We are giving millions of dollars to people who are corrupt in the hopes that they might help us.  How can we justify this when our country is going bankrupt?  Our obsession with “national security” is the most obvious answer.  Fear of another 9/11 has given a back seat to reality and rational thinking.  This must change if we hope to continue to lead in the world in economic development.

True security in the 21st century will not be won from the barrel of a gun.  Throughout the region we are seeing first hand what happens to US supported dictators if they don’t fulfill the needs of their people.  They are brought down.  It might take 30 years, but people will never allow themselves to be repressed over the long-term.  That is why war for oil will never work.  Energy independence is the only way to establish a truly secure and prosperous nation.

We continue to spend money hand over fist in the middle east.  Sadly much of that money finds its way into the hands of our enemies.  Yet our elected officials refuse to put defense spending on the table when talking about balancing the budget.  Instead they insist on cutting education and public services.  This is wrong.  sacrificing our children’s future to pay for dams and roads in foreign countries with corrupt leaders is the very definition of insanity.  We need to start standing up and telling our representatives to stop this waste and start embracing the future of our country.