Afghanistan Waste, Fraud and Abuse

by Jack

It’s been called the war we forgot to end and it’s been a nightmarish money pit. You name the project or expenditure and I’ll name another case of corruption and failure. For instance we spent $28 million bucks more than we had to on uniforms for the Afghan army, because of the precocious whim of one worthless Afghanistan general who couldn’t lead ants to a sugar cube. He had to have unique camo uniforms and we had plenty of off-the-shelf uniforms ready to go, but no, those were not good enough!

Remember all those schools we just had to build to educate that half of the population that is ignorant, unskilled and under 25? Those schools are mostly sitting empty. The demand for a Western style education is almost non-existent in gravel country. But, besides that over looked detail, we forgot to ask, where do we get the teachers? So, we’ve schools, lots of schools, but no students and no teachers. Brilliant, eh? And that was done on Obama’s watch along with a few more boondoggles; can stand to read about more?

Two years ago the Army told Congress they absolutely had to have a modern command center located in southwestern Afghanistan. Congress of course believed them and eventually appropriated $34 million to build the state of the art 2 story operations center with tiered seating and a briefing theater. It has spacious offices, fancy chairs and powerful air conditioning system. It has the best of everything, except for one thing….no troops. It’s empty. See, about the time the project was ready to start the Army was already withdrawing troops and of course they didn’t see the need the for the building anymore. But, they didn’t want to tell Congress, because Congress had gone to a lot of trouble to appropriate the money and it would be kinda embarrassing to suddenly them, uh, never mind. So they just let it be built.

The windowless, two-story structure, which is larger than a football field, was completed this year. Commanders in the area, who insisted three years ago that they needed the building, now are in the process of withdrawing forces and they see no reason to move into the new facility.

But, wait, there’s more! In Kandahar province, the U.S. military recently completed a $45 million facility to repair armored vehicles and other complex pieces of equipment. The space is now being used as a temporary staging ground to sort through equipment that is being shipped out of the country.

And all those new roads we built over the course of the last 7 years at a cost of many billions, less then 10% remain usable. We’ve never spent more to rebuild an impoverished country and have less to show for it than in Afghanistan. Chalk this one up to, stuck on stupid.

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5 Responses to Afghanistan Waste, Fraud and Abuse

  1. Libby says:

    “We’ve never spent more to rebuild an impoverished country and have less to show for it than in Afghanistan.”

    Source? That don’t sound right, anyway. I’m sure that, adjusted for inflation, we spent lots more rehabilitating Europe and Japan after the war. And that’s not the issue anyway. The issue is that your Trump Voter’s ability to take a long, let alone charitable, view of any situation has been obliterated by the cable. Cut the thing.

    Or, take it another way. Are we at war with the Taliban, or aren’t we? They blew up our towers, and you want to let them take Afghanistan back so they can foment more mischief?

    Frankly, this situation is not for the emotionally immature, or simple-minded, to concern themselves with. You used to know this. Why don’t you know this anymore?

    • More Common Sense says:

      Libby said, “Are we at war with the Taliban, or aren’t we? They blew up our towers, and you want to let them take Afghanistan back so they can foment more mischief?”

      Libby, we are not at war with the Taliban because “they blew up our towers”. There is no evidence that the Taliban was involved. It was al-Qaeda that “blew up our towers”. We are at war with the Taliban because they harbored al-Qaeda. The “Bush Doctrine” was the justification for the 2001 war with Afghanistan. The “Bush Doctrine” was the policy that said we had the right to go after anyone that harbored or gave aid to terrorist groups.

      Libby said, “Frankly, this situation is not for the emotionally immature, or simple-minded, to concern themselves with. You used to know this. Why don’t you know this anymore?”

      The fact that you did not know why we were fighting the war kind of makes this insulting and condescending statement appear very foolish. How embarrassing!

      • Libby says:

        More hair splitting. The point is that the Taliban had a “state” to do that with, and we are concerned with preventing that … aren’t we?

        The other point is that we are in this for one long haul … so quit fussing about stuff you barely comprehend.

  2. Tina says:

    Interesting! Libby seems aligned with Trump (Although I know she ‘s not!)

    Trump addressed the nation from the Oval Office a couple of nights ago to announce he will send 4000 troops to Afghanistan. He has no intention to nation build. The goal is to “win” against the Taliban and achieve “lasting peace.” He put Pakistan on notice and asked India for help. FOX News:

    ISLAMABAD – President Trump’s comprehensive new strategy to achieve a “lasting peace” in Afghanistan was enthusiastically received Tuesday by the government of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, which praised the increasing number of U.S. troops in the country as another way to strengthen weakened Afghan forces.

    Trump’s speech also created pressure on the Pakistani government, which the U.S. has long suspected of sponsoring terrorism in Afghanistan.

    Pakistan security officials have accused Trump of shifting the blame for failures in the war against the Taliban and other militant groups fighting in war-torn Afghanistan.

    Addressing a new plan for the 16-year conflict in Afghanistan Monday night, Trump asked India — Pakistan’s archrival — to help the U.S. economically in Afghanistan, especially in the area of economic assistance and development.

    “We have been paying Pakistan billions and billions of dollars at the same time they are housing the very terrorists that we are fighting,” Trump also said.

    “The strategy is made in accordance with realities on the ground,” said Najibullah Azad, a spokesman for the Afghan president. “This is the first time the U.S. government is coming with a very clear-cut message to Pakistan to either stop what you’re doing or face the negative consequences.”…

    Article continues and includes differing opinions.

    France announced today that they back President Trump:

    “France recognizes the importance of this undertaking and remains resolutely engaged in the struggle against terrorism.”

    In keeping with Trumps commitment to refrain from announcing war plans and strategies there are no details…must drive the media crazy. Unlike our previous president, there will not be announcements of withdrawal dates or ridiculous restrictions on our troops.

    If any administration can prevent and or weed out fraud and abuse it’s this one…but I still expect it will happen. Where there’s big money you will always find unscrupulous people.

    In January of 2014 CATO looked at what we’ve spent on the war on poverty since 1965:

    If we are losing the War on Poverty, it certainly isn’t for lack of effort.

    In 2012, the federal government spent $668 billion to fund 126 separate anti-poverty programs. State and local governments kicked in another $284 billion, bringing total anti-poverty spending to nearly $1 trillion. That amounts to $20,610 for every poor person in America, or $61,830 per poor family of three.

    Spending on the major anti-poverty programs increased in 2013, pushing the total even higher.

    Over, the last 50 years, the government spent more than $16 trillion to fight poverty.

    Yet today, 15 percent of Americans still live in poverty. That’s scarcely better than the 19 percent living in poverty at the time of Johnson’s speech. Nearly 22 percent of children live in poverty today. In 1964, it was 23 percent.

    How could we have spent so much and achieved so little?

    It’s not just a question of the inefficiency of government bureaucracies, although the multiplicity of programs and overlapping jurisdiction surely means that there is a lack of accountability within the system. Rather, the entire concept behind how we fight poverty is wrong.

    The Constitution does not call for the federal government to provide a living standard for any citizen. That was left to the people and the states to do, if at all.

    The Constitution calls specifically for the federal government to defend the nation. ISIS and the Taliban represent a continuing threat to our nation. If we leave Afghanistan without defeating the Taliban we leave a vacuum. ISIS will make it their new operational state as we continue to kill and drive them out of Iraq, Syria, and Libya. The most important factor is that we commit to winning this war. That is the only option. We should move as swiftly as possible.

    It’s a terrible situation. Sure wish it were different.

  3. Pete says:

    Afghanistan is a no win proposition. Wish we’d get our men out of there and just drop a few bombs as needed. Winning hearts and minds is a great theory, but that will take hundreds of thousands of troops and several generations. Not gonna happen.

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