We all know our government wastes inordinate amounts of our tax dollars. Here's a report about how they're blowing money in Afghanistan.
Via: The Week.com
How one inspector general is fighting fraud and waste in Afghanistan
After 12 years of war, you would think the war planners and defense contractors have the situation in Afghanistan well in hand. And they do, if the goal is wasteful spending on such a colossal scale that it makes Healthcare.gov look like Amazon.com.
The magnitude of the ongoing fiscal irresponsibility in Afghanistan is almost impossible to measure, and there is little hope that either the White House or Congress will show any interest in listening to those who provide the warm bodies and sweaty dollars for the ongoing conflict.There is someone keeping track of the waste:
Here are just a few examples of what Mr. Sopko has found:
The Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan — the group in charge of training and developing the Afghan security forces — couldn't account for $230 million in spare parts it had ordered.
(SIGAR) reported that in at least one case, you were paying $500/gallon for diesel fuel. (The market price cap for diesel in Afghanistan is $5/gallon.)
Sayed Bilal Sadath Construction Company, the contractor who received the $300,000 overpayment, hasn't sent it back. And why would they? They were paid $200,000 for thermostats only worth $2,000, and nobody complained.To follow up on the $300,000 overpayment mentioned above...
Sayed Bilal Sadath Construction Company received this money for a contract to build a small, 100-bed hospital in Gardez, Afghanistan — an unfinished hospital that is almost two years behind schedule. Don't worry about it, though. The Afghan government has warned that it might not be able to use the hospital anyway, as its operation and maintenance costs are five times more than the hospital it's supposed to replace. [Full report: PDF]Mr. Sopko is doing a pretty good job of finding these abuses of our money, but that isn't going to last for long because of poor security in Afghanistan:
Security in Afghanistan is abysmal. The "graveyard of empires" is a dangerous place, and Sopko's brave men and women are limited to what are called "oversight bubbles" — places where security can be provided and emergency medical care dispatched. By next year, SIGAR predicts it will only have access to 21 percent of the country.They've contacted 3 of America's agency heads regarding this problem, but no help yet:
On October 10, Sopko sent an urgent letter to the Secretaries of Defense and State, as well as the administrator at U.S. Agency for International Development, asking for guidance and support in expanding oversight to the other 79 percent of Afghanistan. (In northern Afghanistan alone, there are ongoing infrastructure projects worth $72 million that lack oversight.) Sopko requested a response in 30 days. Forty-one days later, none of the three men have issued a response and have each asked for more time.No help in 41 days, huh? Well, could it be that Chuck Hagel is busy protecting the environment in the Arctic and John Kerry is busy making nice with Iran? As for the administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development...I don't know what his excuse is.
Mr. Sopko did receive one response:
Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), who as a result of Sopko's letter has submitted an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2014. Her amendment, SA 2196, would withhold funds from any project or program in Afghanistan that cannot be physically accessed by government oversight authorities. [Full letter: PDF]Why are we still giving money to Afghanistan anyway? Mr. Karzai doesn't much like us or appreciate what Americans have sacrificed for his stinking, rat hole of a country.
No problem, though. It's only money...our money. Are you mad yet?
Read the entire article here.