Waste: Billions in Afghanistan | Charleston Gazette
A new inspector-general report says billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars cannot be traced in Afghanistan, and may wind up in the hands of fanatics killing American soldiers — or in foreign bank accounts of Afghan crooks. The audit says: “Because of the level of corruption in Afghanistan and the continuing insurgency, the U.S. government’s lack of visibility over its funds is a significant concern. Reports of as much as $10 million a day in cash leaving Kabul International Airport have added to these concerns.”
Most of the missing money is large bags of cash, intended to pay for reconstruction projects. Some bags are processed through informal currency offices called “hawalas,” where they vanish. Top Afghan government insiders don’t go through customs at the Kabul airport, but drive with their luggage directly to parked airliners.
The Wall Street Journal said: “The United States has appropriated more than $70 billion for aid projects in Afghanistan. Officials worry that because of the lack of oversight, a significant chunk of those funds, along with other Western aid, have been siphoned off by corrupt officials or have ended up in the hands of militant groups, most of which are loyal to the Taliban.” Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., remarked: “The idea that U.S. taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars could be siphoned off to fund the very extremists who are killing our troops just makes me sick to my stomach. It is unbelievable to imagine that as much as $10 million a day — that’s more than $3.6 billion a year — in cash is being stolen. Just imagine how much good our billions would do for our veterans back home, our seniors, our schools — not just in West Virginia but in this entire nation. ... It is time to refocus on rebuilding America, not Afghanistan.”
Manchin is correct. The U.S. government is in desperate straits, and shouldn’t continue wasting vast sums on a pointless occupation.
The Afghan war is the longest in U.S. history. It began as a worthy attempt to remove fanatics who harbored the al-Qaida terrorist network. But it has turned into a never- ending quagmire costing more American lives and money than it’s worth.
Halt the needless conflict now. Stop sending bags of taxpayer cash that disappear or leave Kabul’s airport at a rate of $10 million a day.
The Afghan war is the longest in U.S. history.
It began as a worthy attempt to remove fanatics who harbored the al-Qaida terrorist network. But it has turned into a neverending quagmire costing more American lives and money than it’s worth.
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