The US military has been ignoring warnings that its spending in Afghanistan is funding Al Qaeda and the Taliban. And John F. Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), appears to have had enough.
He issued a blistering cover letter with SIGAR's quarterly report to Congress today that called into question what "appears to be a growing gap between the policy objectives of Washington and the reality of achieving them in Afghanistan."
The US has $20 billion of Afghan reconstruction spending scheduled, and a further $10 billion requested for the 2014 budget. But after 11 years of war, there are "serious shortcomings in US oversight of contracts: poor planning, delayed or inadequate inspections, insufficient documentation, dubious decisions, and - perhaps most troubling - a pervasive lack of accountability," Mr. Sopko wrote. Good intentions, he added, appear to be running way ahead of commitment to execution.
But Sopko's greatest degree of scorn is reserved for ongoing contracting with businesses that his office is convinced finance the insurgents trying to topple the US-supported Afghan government and kill US troops.