Washington has wasted billions of dollars since 2008 on buildings and vehicles that were abandoned or destroyed in Afghanistan, a report by a US government watchdog revealed today.
The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) reported that about $2.4 billion in assets of the $7.8 billion "were unused or abandoned, had not been used for their intended purposes, had deteriorated, or were destroyed."
While more than $1.2 billion was being used as intended, the SIGAR said only $343.2 million worth of buildings and vehicles "were maintained in good condition."
"The fact that so many capital assets wound up not used, deteriorated, or abandoned should have been a major cause of concern for the agencies financing these projects," Special Inspector General John F. Sopko said in the report. "Nonetheless, the agencies continued with a 'business as usual' approach with their reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan, resulting in at least $2.4 billion in U.S. taxpayer funds being wasted on capital assets."
Noting that the watchdog did not inspect all US-funded capital asset projects in Afghanistan, Sopko said the actual amount of waste is "almost certainly higher."
The US invaded Afghanistan in 2001.