“A contractor fails to follow requirements, leaving unsafe, unfinished, unusable, or unwanted buildings but yet gets paid in full.”

These are comments from a speech given by the SIGAR to a Georgetown audience. If you are unfamiliar with the way “our” wars work, these frank comments will, frankly, blow your mind. To those of you who know (broadly) how the corrupt contracting of private corporations works (and to a certain extent has always worked), this speech offers no surprises, but is well worth reading anyway. Without further ado, your tax dollars – $104 Billion just for the small piece he’s talking about here – at work:

(Click any of the following text to read the full speech)

“Congress created the office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction or SIGAR in 2008 to provide independent and objective oversight of the U.S. reconstruction effort in Afghanistan.”

“I was stunned when senior state department officials on my first trip to Kabul suggested how we should write our reports. They even suggested changes to our report titles and proposed that we give them our press releases in advance so they could pre-approve them. Little did they know that by law IGs are independent of the agencies and SIGAR by statute is more independent than all other IGs.”

“There’s no real benefit in setting up projects or programs that the Afghans cannot or will not sustain once international forces depart and international aid declines. Unfortunately, Afghanistan is a case study in projects and programs set up without considering sustainability.”

“Corruption is another enormous inter-agency challenge facing reconstruction in Afghanistan. The consensus among everyone I speak with is that if corruption is allowed to continue unabated it will likely jeopardize every gain we’ve made so far in Afghanistan.”

“Directly tied to corruption is the final inter-agency challenge I wanted to talk about today countering the growth of the drug trade. This challenge is no secret to anyone; the U.S. has already spent nearly $7.6 billion to combat the opium industry. Yet, by every conceivable metric, we’ve failed.”

Continue reading…

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