Yet another US government report on Afghanistan has been published that chronicles the obscene waste that seems to have been synonymous with America's longest running quagmire.
The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) on Monday revealed the findings of its careful review of $7.8 billion in taxpayer dollars that was spent since 2008. It was supposed to go toward buildings, infrastructure, and vehicles for Afghanistan - but instead a mere $1.2 billion of the $7.8 billion actually went for its intended use.
Even of the $1.2 billion properly used as intended, it was often that it ended up being wasted, given that as the SIGAR report found, only $343.2 million was in the end spent on buildings and vehicles that were "maintained in good condition".
This was in large part due to the "largely unmonitored" injection of billions of dollars into the war-torn country which "fueled runaway corruption among both Afghans and international contractors," according to the Associated Press.
A former adviser to the Afghan government, Torek Farhadi, was cited by AP as describing that "a lack of coordination among the many international donors aided the wastefulness."
"For example, he said schools were on occasion built alongside other newly constructed schools financed by other donors. The construction went ahead because once the decision was made — contract awarded and money allocated — the school was built regardless of the need," Farhedi continued.
YOUR TAX DOLLARS AT WORK: The United States wasted billions of dollars in war-torn Afghanistan on buildings and vehicles that were either abandoned or destroyed. https://t.co/s1ZCZ2zlO0— KWTX News 10 (@kwtx) March 2, 2021
Afghanistan remains heavily dependent on international money at a moment Washington is continuing to directly engage the Taliban in peace talks intend on leading to a full US troops withdrawal down the line.
While there's currently a May 1st deadline for NATO and US exit as part of Doha talks, all signs indicate the date will come and go with no reductions - similar to many past intended milestones.