Billions of U.S. Taxpayer Dollars Lost to Waste, Fraud, Abuse in Afghanistan
If there was a need for an additional reason to bring U.S. involvement in Afghanistan to an end it’s a new report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction on the billions of U.S. tax dollars lost to waste, fraud, and abuse.
According to the report:
This report adds nearly $3.4 billion of waste, fraud, and abuse to the previously reported amount [$15.5 billion] based on our review of SIGAR’s published products and closed investigations. Of this total, we specifically identified approximately $1.5 billion in taxpayer funds that we believe were wasted, $300 million that were lost to fraud, and $34 million that we believe were lost due to abuse. The remaining $1.6 billion was allocated to counter- narcotics efforts that we believe were wasted.
As of December 31, 2019, Congress appropriated nearly $134 billion since Fiscal Year 2002 for Afghanistan reconstruction. Of that amount, SIGAR reviewed approximately $63 billion and concluded that a total of approximately $19 billion or 30 percent of the amount reviewed was lost to waste, fraud, and abuse.
Some of the theft was big, some were small:
SIGAR investigators found that individuals were fraudulently selling U.S. Embassy- Kabul meal cards. Through their investigation, our investigators found that the theft had been going on for 5 years, and the Department of State lost between $50,000 and $80,000 monthly for total of a $3 million loss.
And American taxpayers got the bill for it. You can read the entire IG report here.