US Army in Afghanistan

“In one area we visited, we observed a multi-million dollar unfinished ‘road to nowhere’ cut into the side of a mountain. The project was constructed at considerable risk to the U.S. engineers who took fire during its construction. When asked why the project was started and then left unfinished, the answer was telling. The Army built the road because President Karzai asserted that roads were a high priority in Afghanistan. The Army thought that a road in this particular area would help the locals get crops to market and thus contribute to their economic well-being. The problem was that the locals were subsistence farmers and did not want or need a road—they wanted a well for clean drinking water. Because the Army built something the locals did not want, the locals did not protect it. Rather, they allowed the Taliban to come to the area and take shots at the engineers until the Army realized the project‘s futility and stopped construction.”