Afghanistan’s ‘ghost soldiers’ take frightful fee on US taxpayers, says watchdog

The U.S. supervision is profitable a salaries of “tens of thousands” of self-existent Afghan soldiers, police, teachers and polite servants, a tip Pentagon central pronounced Wednesday in stating on a scale and accumulation of squandered U.S. money.

John Sopko, special examiner ubiquitous for Afghanistan reformation (SIGAR), pronounced a salaries of “ghost soldiers” is usually one of many ways Americans’ income is squandered in Afghanistan – all for rather medium gains.

His comments promulgate a SIGAR news that aims to assistance surprise a new Congress and administration of a many dire reformation hurdles in 2017 and beyond. Sopko’s summary was one American leaders have listened before.

“Including U.S. fight appropriation separate to reconstruction, U.S. appropriations for Afghanistan now totals some-more than 3 buliding of a trillion dollars — not including a $43.7 billion requested for mercantile year 2017,” he pronounced in a debate before a Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C.

U.S. taxpayers balance a check for confidence during new ‘Ghost Hotel’ in Kabul

“To date, some-more than $115 billion of U.S. taxpayer income has been spent, infrequently wisely – too mostly not. Another $7.5 billion has been appropriated though not nonetheless spent, and general donors have affianced to yield financial support to Afghanistan and a confidence army by 2020.”

Despite a outrageous amounts spent in Afghanistan, conditions are deteriorating.

“As of Aug. 28, 2016, usually 63.4 percent of a country’s districts were underneath Afghan government’s control or influence, a rebate from a 72 percent as of Nov. 27, 2015, Sopko said.

Afghan army “are generally able and effective during safeguarding vital race centers, preventing a Taliban from progressing enlarged control of specific areas and during responding to Taliban attacks.”

But a Afghan military, “a reportedly 320,000-strong force is fundamentally personification ‘whack-a-mole’ following a Taliban around Afghanistan.”

In further to a troops situation, American efforts to quell drug prolongation are failing.

Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Sopko has shined a spotlight on billions of U.S. taxation dollars squandered in a segment given holding a position in 2012.Expand / Contract

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Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Sopko has shined a spotlight on billions of U.S. taxation dollars squandered in a segment given holding a position in 2012.


“Although a United States has committed some-more than $8 billion to counter-narcotics efforts in Afghanistan, a drug trade has grown significantly given a tumble of a Taliban. [The U.S.] estimates that as most as 60 percent of a Taliban’s appropriation comes from poppy prolongation and cultivation.”

The scale of income spent on Afghanistan given reformation efforts began in 2002 mirrors a scale of casualties among U.S. crew in Afghanistan.

Sopko pronounced “2,247 U.S. troops crew have died in support of operations there, while some-more than 20,000 others were bleeding in action.”

After 15 years, Afghanistan’s supervision is still in no position to support itself — and crime in endemic, he said.

“The commission of Afghans who trust crime is a problem of daily life, now 90 percent, has usually increasing over time. In 2016 Afghans paid some-more in bribes than a supervision is approaching to have generated in income from taxes, customs, tariffs and other sources of income.”

There is justification that a Taliban has educated a margin commanders to simply squeeze U.S.-supplied weapons, fuel and ammunition from Afghan soldiers since to do so is both easier and reduction expensive, Sopko said.

Some of a censure for a squandered troops spending, flourishing drug problem and widespread crime can be laid on Washington’s doorstep.

“The U.S. contributed mightily to a problem by transfer too most money, too fast, into too tiny an economy, with too small oversight,” he said.

There have been some improvements since of American efforts to safeguard that income is scrupulously spent.

“I was speedy to hear that, as of this month, Afghan confidence army are being paid formed on a DOD-developed corroboration system, famous as AHRIMS [Afghan Human Resources Information Management System] that relies on ID cards embedded with biometric information being purebred daily to magnitude attendance,” he said.

Perry Chiaramonte is a contributor for Follow him on Twitter during @perrych

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