• Corruption Consuming Up to 30% of Afghan Reconstruction Money!

    November 22, 2011 // 1 Comment »

    Yea Juggalos, we’re winning again in America’s Never-Ending-Gob-Smacker-Sucker of a war, the Afghan-Taliban-Pakistan Warapalooza!

    For those who have been in a coma or tied up Occupying somewhere, we have been defeating the Taliban for the past ten+ years in Afghanistan, and reconstructing that same place for pretty much the last ten+ years. But for reconstruction, it is perhaps best to think in dollar terms, not time: we have spent over $70 billion (borrowed) on rebuilding.

    By most accounts, the reconstruction has not been successful, and lots of people are unsure why not.

    Now we have an idea, from a new Congressional Research Service report released November 14. Here are a couple of the money quotes:

    One USAID official estimated that on some projects, up to 30% of contracted project costs can be attributed to corruption. A number of government and industry officials stated that corruption is the ‘price of doing business’ in Afghanistan.

    Corruption takes many forms, including government officials charging bribes for transporting goods across the border and extorting protection payments. Many analysts view large swaths of the judicial sector and the attorney general’s office as corrupt, as evidenced by the lack of prosecutions against high-ranking government officials or warlords accused of being involved in criminal activity or rampant corruption. In other instances, members of the Afghan security forces use their position to demand bribes and extort shipping companies at Afghan borders and airports.

    The billions of contracting dollars spent to support military operations and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan raise a number of potential questions for Congress that may have significant policy implications for current and future overseas operations. These questions include to what extent U.S. government development and CERP contracts contributing to the overall mission in Afghanistan.

    That last paragraph of course is a hoot; people, it has been over ten years of doing the same stuff in Afghanistan and only now are you asking if it supports the overall mission? Did someone just forget to think of that question earlier? Isn’t it sort of late in the “game” to wonder if our reconstruction efforts were supporting the overall mission?

    Anyway, if you have the stomach for it, the whole report is online.

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    Posted in Afghanistan, Embassy/State, Military