World

IG report: Afghan contractors defraud U.S. military, endanger troops

Daily Caller News Foundation logo
Font Size:

Yet another report detailing abuse of American taxpayer dollars in Afghanistan has surfaced, with the potential for lost lives as well as wasted money.

Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Sopko reported two Afghan contractors defrauding the U.S. military out of 250 culvert denial systems, which would have functioned to prevent IED attacks against American troops.

Some $1 million was doled out to the two contractors to build and assemble the culvert denial devices, large metal devices affixed to roadside drains and waterways to prevent IED’s and other explosive devices from reaching U.S. troops in the war-wracked state. But these two contractors either never built the devices at all or assembled them improperly.

Over $32 million in contracts has been awarded in Afghanistan to date for the IED-defense systems, according to Sopko’s report, but investigators could not determine how many systems were completed. The devices were ordered at 2,500 locations, but a lack of documentation and quality control in contract files prevented Sopko’s investigators from verifying the success of other systems.

Of the two contractors pegged by the investigation, one worker and his subcontractor have been arrested by Afghan police and charged with fraud and negligent homicide, emphasizing Sopko’s concerns about U.S. lives having been unnecessarily lost as a result of the device sham. The second contractor is now being sought byAfghan forces.

The Special Inspector General’s reports on Afghanistan have turned up a staggering series of monetary waste throughout U.S. efforts to rebuild the country, including this month’s revelation that a $34 million entirely unused military command facility may be demolished, and a report in May that found a $772 million purchase of aircraft for the Afghan military cannot be operated or maintained by their forces.

But this week’s report documents more serious security failures than fiscal problems, a pattern emerging after last week’s report that U.S.-funded contractors in the struggling state abandoned the construction of a $3.4 million teacher training facility midway through the project. The unsafe building is still being used by the Afghans and the U.S. continues to fund fuel costs of $50,000 per month for the building.

Sopko noted in last week’s report “a disturbing trend” where the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), charged with, among much else, building education facilities in Afghanistan, “fails to hold contractors accountable for completing the work which they were paid to perform.”

The investigation released this week discovering IED-defense fraud did not review any orders for culvert denial systems ordered by USACE.

Follow Sarah on Twitter

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.