The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) reported last week that the Department of Defense could not explain the failure of its $800 million taxpayer-funded budget implemented by the Pentagon with the goal of producing economic growth and stabilization in Afghanistan.
“Over the past two years, SIGAR has received more complaints of waste, fraud, and abuse relating to TFBSO activities than for any other organization operating in Afghanistan,” Alexander Bronstein, a SIGAR representative, noted during a brief to the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support.
The report stated that the project did not produce the necessary goals of the project due to several unnecessary problems and repeated mistakes.
“A lack of strategic direction and inconsistent management resulted in a scattershot approach to economic development,” Bronstein stated, “the program’s director Paul Brinkley told SIGAR that he approved programs without knowing what they would cost.”
Since 2009, Congress appropriated nearly $823 million to the program until funding ceased in September 2015. All program operations ended on March 30, 2015.
Another task force displayed further Pentagon corruption. This project examined by SIGAR originally intended to build a $3 million gas station in Afghanistan ended up actually spending $43 million in construction and “overhead” costs from 2011-2014. SIGAR released this information in a 2015 congressional hearing.
“At a time of growing threats and constrained defense budgets, this kind of mismanagement is simply unacceptable, and I look forward to hearing from the Pentagon on what specific steps it will take to prevent such an egregious waste of tax dollars in the future,” Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) stated.
This is yet again a ridiculous example of unchecked waste in Pentagon spending. Failure to correctly distribute a multi-million dollar taxpayer-funded budget displays the necessity of auditing the such an organization. Without thoroughly examining the allocations of the Department of Defense, there will continue to be massive corruption in spending, and the American taxpayer will remain abused.
Americans for Tax Reform President Grover Norquist advocated for a Pentagon audit, stating that “All departments of the United States Government are audited–except the Pentagon. This is not acceptable. If the management of the Pentagon cannot pass an audit–get new management.”