Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Watchdog: U.S. Wasted $89 Billion on Currently Nonexistent Afghan Military; US ‘rarely’ Enforced Conditions on Afghanistan Aid, Audit Says

AP Photo/Rahmat Gul
Watchdog: U.S. Wasted $89 Billion on Currently Nonexistent Afghan Military
The top federal agency in charge of oversight of American involvement in Afghanistan published a report on Friday stating the U.S. government spent nearly $89 billion on “training and equipping” the Afghan military in the past two decades.
The Afghan military, formally the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), “no longer exist,” the report – the latest installment of its mandatory quarterly report to Congress – noted.
The country’s armed forces collapsed this summer after President Joe Biden announced he would extend the Afghan War, the longest in American history, beyond the May 1 deadline that the previous administration had agreed to in a deal with the Taliban terrorist organization. In response to Biden’s violation of that agreement, the Taliban began a national takeover, conquering every region of the country before taking over the capital, Kabul, on August 15. The Taliban’s rise to power was largely bloodless as a consequence of ANDSF soldiers reportedly fleeing the battlefield en masse or joining the Taliban rather than fighting on behalf of the collapsed Afghan government.
At the time of the Afghan government’s collapse, the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) estimated that the U.S. government had allocated $146 billion to “rebuild” Afghanistan after the initial invasion in 2001. --->READ MORE HERE
Noorullah Shirzada/AFP
US ‘rarely’ enforced conditions on Afghanistan aid, audit says:
The U.S. government set numerous conditions over the years on billions of dollars in military aid to Afghanistan’s security forces but only “rarely” enforced them, a recent federal audit found.
Consequently, U.S. officials lost considerable control over spending that totaled nearly $89 billion, and Afghan forces that ultimately fell to the Taliban might have been less effective, as a result, than they could have been, according to the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction’s previously unpublicized Oct. 6 report.
The Afghan forces wilted in August in the face of a Taliban offensive that resulted in the fall of that country’s government. Since then, Americans have wondered how Afghan military units supported by so much U.S. training and equipment could have toppled so easily.
The Oct. 6 inspector general report may provide one clue.
The U.S. military assistance office in Afghanistan “did not hold the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) to account by enforcing the conditions it established to create a stronger, more professional, and self-reliant ANDSF,” wrote the inspector general, John Sopko, in a letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III and other military leaders that is included in the report. --->READ MORE HERE
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