"We can no longer treat "nation-building" as an occasional emergency rather than an ongoing reality of the post-Cold War world. Since 1993, from Mogadishu to Mosul, the United States has undertaken six such operations around the world. Currently, 135,000 U.S. troops remain on the ground in Iraq, at an approximate cost of $50 billion a year. In Afghanistan, three years after the Taliban fled, 9,000 NATO forces and 17,000 U.S. troops are left to secure the capital and countryside and to continue the hunt for Al-Qaeda. The pace of peacekeeping activities by the United Nations and regional organizations also continues to surge; the UN deploys 66,000 peacekeepers in 17 operations."