Six Years and $17 Billion Wasted in Afghanistan

Caption: Captain Julian Hohnen, Officer Commanding a combined Australian and Afghan Army patrol base in the Baluchi Valley Region mentors Afghan National Army Officer, Lieutenant Farhad Habib. Mid Caption: All across the MTF1 area of operations partnered mentoring is being conducted on mounted and dismounted combined patrols with ever increasing security presence being experienced by local communities from the Southern Baluchi Valley to the Northern Chora reaches as well as east through the Mirabad. Ongoing combined ANA and MTF1 security operations involving infantry, combat engineer and reconnaissance capabilities in Oruzgan have achieved multiple layers of effects including an increased rate of IED “find and render safe” percentages, increased cache finds, and enhanced trust fostered within local communities. Deep Caption: Operation SLIPPER is Australia's military contribution to the international campaign against terrorism, piracy and improving maritime security. Under this operation our forces contribute to the efforts of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) - led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan. ISAF seeks to bring security, stability and prosperity to Afghanistan and aims to prevent Afghanistan again becoming a safe haven for international terrorists. Operation SLIPPER also supports the United States led International Coalition Against Terrorism (ICAT) in the broader Middle East.

Hey, it’s only money, your money, which we might as well have just buried in the desert. Actually it’s worse than that as dumping the money into the ground would have been a waste but wouldn’t have hurt anyone. $17 billion floating around Afghanistan is probably a much less benign situation.

(From Antiwar)

ProPublica looked at over 200 audits conducted by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) over the last six years and tallied up the costs for the wide range of failed efforts to reach the $17 billion price tag. This greatest hits study only scratched the surface of the estimated $110 billion spent to rebuild the country (the U.S. spent some $47 billion in rebuilding Iraq, and how’d that work out?)

The new study touches on only the most egregious examples of waste, including:

  • $8 million to end Afghanistan’s drug trade, which is flourishing today as never before;

  • $2 billion for roads that the Afghan government is unlikely to maintain due to lack of funds and security concerns;

  • $1 billion for unrealized criminal justice reform efforts;

  • $936 million for aircraft that can’t be maintained;

  • $486 million for cargo planes that can’t fly;

  • $470 million on the Afghan Police;

Click here for the article.