President Obama’s brain trust on Afghanistan does not know much the U.S. spends on the war each year or the American cost in lost lives on the battlefield.
This embarrassing lack of basic knowledge from State Department and Pentagon experts on Afghanistan at a House hearing Wednesday prompted even a Democrat to say he was stunned.
When it came time for Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, California Republican, to quiz the witnesses, he asked what he thought was a simple question:
“How much are we spending annually in Afghanistan? How much is the cost to the American taxpayer?”
He was met with stone silence from the witness panel. Mr. Dobbins gestured to the other witnesses for the answer. They, too, came up empty.
“Anybody know?” Mr. Rohrabacker asked. “Nobody knows the total budget, what we’re spending in Afghanistan. It’s a hearing on Afghanistan. Can I have an estimate?
I’m sorry, congressman,” Mr. Dobbins said.
Mr. Rohrabacker called the lack of an answer “disheartening.”