Politics

US Spent ‘Unknown’ Million$ On Afghan Schools

REUTERS/ Parwiz

Daily Caller News Foundation logo

Federal agencies have spent untold hundreds of millions educating Afghan children since 2002, but have no way of knowing whether their investments produced any positive results.

The Department of Defense (DOD) and Department of State never defined a strategy for primary and secondary education in Afghanistan reconstruction efforts, and the total amount DOD spent on education is “unknown,” despite federal requirements to create strategies and track spending, according to a new report form the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR).

Together, DOD, State and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) spent at least $759.6 million on 39 separate educational programs. Only USAID had a strategy for its investments but none of the three agencies “adequately assessed their efforts to support education in Afghanistan,” SIGAR found.

“Without an agency performing an assessment of its own education efforts in Afghanistan, the agency will be unable to determine whether and how its substantial investments have directly contributed to the overall progress reported in Afghan education,” SIGAR concluded.

The report is SIGAR’s latest example of federal officials bungling Afghanistan reconstruction funding. U.S. taxpayers have spent hundreds of millions of dollars maintaining unused buildings and $43 million to build an unusable natural gas station, among other examples of waste due to corruption and poor oversight.

USAID claims success by citing an increase in Afghan student enrollment from 900,000 in 2002 to 8 million in 2013, but the agency uses unreliable Afghan government figures, SIGAR noted. Afghan Ministry of Education and independent evaluations concluded those numbers “may be portraying an inaccurate picture,” SIGAR said.

SIGAR recommended that USAID’s education strategy provide clear descriptions of other U.S. agencies’ roles and provide accountability for sticking with the strategy, that Secretary of State John Kerry determine how State’s educational investments have increased stability in Afghanistan, and that USAID develop an annual performance report.

Follow Kathryn 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.