• Six Years and $17 Billion Wasted in Afghanistan

    January 28, 2016

    Tags: , ,
    Posted in: Afghanistan, Democracy, Embassy/State, Military


    What did you get for Christmas these last six years?

    The U.S. government was nice enough to gift our loyal friends the Afghans $17 billion of your tax money, and, in the true spirit of giving, asked nothing in return for itself.

    What that means in actual dollars and nonsense is that the U.S. government wasted $17 billion in taxpayer money in Afghanistan on various projects that never made it off the ground or were doomed to fail because of incompetence or lack of maintenance, according to a new report.

    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;

    — $43 million for a gas station that doesn’t work.

    The timing of the report couldn’t be better. The chief of the watchdog office is slated to appear before a Senate Armed Services Committee subpanel shortly after lawmakers return from their extended holiday break.

    That January 20 hearing was originally set to scrutinize only the work of the Pentagon’s Task Force for Business and Stability Operations, which spent $700-$800 million (no one knows the exact amount) on economic redevelopment in Afghanistan, as well as $150 million on villas and private security for the group’s staffers. The agenda will now likely expand to a whole-of-government waste review.

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  • Recent Comments

    • Rich Bauer said...


      At least Afghans have better water than Flint. So there’s that.

      01/28/16 8:56 AM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      01/28/16 8:58 AM | Comment Link

    • John Poole said...


      Yes indeed -no reports of lead poisoning from any water projects we funded only a few unreliable reports of fatal steel poisoning via unrecovered bombletts foolishly mistaken as toys by hapless children. Poor Afghan parenting there- the onus is off us.

      01/28/16 9:44 AM | Comment Link

    • jo6pac said...


      Wasted I doubt it look at all the free money corp. Amerika made without even having to do anything.

      01/28/16 3:03 PM | Comment Link

    • bloodypitchfork said...


      quote”This greatest hits study only scratched the surface of the estimated $110 billion spent to rebuild the country “unquote

      this redefines the word incredulous.

      note to self..file under…

      Great Moments in:

      a. MIC Criminal Fraud
      b. Congressional Criminal Stupidity
      c. Taxpayer Criminal Malfeasance

      01/28/16 4:53 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      The only answer is the US has been infected by a mutant Zika virus –the brain shrinks to a peanut but the shell stays the same.

      01/28/16 5:08 PM | Comment Link

    • StarkNakedTruth said...


      Hey! After all, it’s just money, right?

      In another ten years and after the US has thrown another $17 Billion away, perhaps someone in DC will start asking questions, huh?

      01/28/16 5:32 PM | Comment Link

    • Rich Bauer said...


      The moral of the story is If you want foreign aid, bring in some foreigners.


      01/29/16 7:35 AM | Comment Link

    • teri said...


      We are reportedly going to stay in Afghanistan for at least another decade (one military dude just referred to it as a “generational commitment”) and have re-entered Iraq. We are also going back into Libya, or are already back – and the military guys say they don’t need no stupid Congressional authorization; didn’t have one last time, did we? Didn’t need one for any of the other 6, 7, or 8 places we are bombing, either.

      Going to be lots of chances to rebuild, reconstruct, or otherwise hang around in these countries for decades.

      We still give tons of money to Egypt, despite its sort of ugly military coup and the leadership there that is killing people right and left (so much for the Arab Spring shit). And let’s not forget our perpetual financial support of Israel, which allows them socialized medicine and free university while they slaughter the Palestinians and/or starve them to death. Although at least we get the benefit of Israel’s only two exports: security measures against your civilian population and paranoia.

      All money well spent, eh?

      Whatcha want us to spend our money on? Bridges, clean water, roads, healthcare, schools, public transporation… in America? What are you – a SOCIALIST?

      01/29/16 7:43 AM | Comment Link

    • teri said...



      Check out the latest on Mad Hillary and the email stuff. I think I mentioned in a comment here that I thought the Help Haiti Funds needed some investigation vis a vis its relationship to the Clinton Foundation. Guess what?


      01/29/16 7:47 AM | Comment Link

    • wemeantwell said...


      If there are no charges out of this, then that is the Official Day of death of whatever was left of the right and good part of us wounded on 9/11.

      01/29/16 7:51 AM | Comment Link

    • Links 29/1/2016: Controversy at the Linux Foundation, Tor Browser 5.5 | Techrights said...


      […] Six Years and $17 Billion Wasted in Afghanistan […]

      01/29/16 8:13 AM | Comment Link

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