A report from the US Government Accountability Office on Afghanistan's Donor Dependence notes that the US and other funders have provided 90 per cent of Afghanistan's public expenditures from 2006-2010. The US alone has allocated over $72 billion to its mission in Afghanistan. To put this in context, in 2010, for example, the Kabul government's entire domestic revenues - raised mostly through customs revenues and property taxes - amounted to just $1.6 billion.
With the 2014 target date for the withdrawal of US troops now only three years away, these figures raise huge questions about how the government in Kabul will fund its own security forces, who use up the lion's share of this donor income.
The report shows that Afghanistan's total public expenditure more than doubled between 2006-2010, from $5.5 billion to $14.3 billion, but that almost 80 per cent was off-budget ie donor funded. Of this, just under half (45%) was security related. Ninety per cent of all security spending was provided by the US.