Find ways to avoid corrupt usage of foreign aid

Americans poured billions of dollars into rebuilding Iraq’s economy and infrastructure after our military toppled Saddam Hussein from power. The result has not been satisfactory. Iraq continues to be torn by sectarian violence.

Evidence we cannot buy friendship or stability apparently was not heeded in Washington, however. U.S. policy toward Afghanistan has been a mirror image of the Iraq failure, in many ways.

For example, President Barack Obama’s administration has included enormous sums in the Pentagon budget for rebuilding programs in Afghanistan.

At one point, the measure included $63.8 million to develop Afghanistan’s mining and energy industries. That money no longer is in the bill. One of 17 amendments added to the bill by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., removes the $63.8 million.

Manchin’s amendment stipulates if Afghanistan agrees to reimburse American taxpayers from mining and energy profits, the $63.8 million can be spent.

Manchin is right. U.S. taxpayers cannot afford to continue pouring fortunes down foreign holes.