Tag Archives: Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction

Reality Check: Millions Wasted ‘Rebuilding’ Afghanistan

Seventeen years of wasted taxpayer money and government mismanagement: millions of U.S. dollars spent on projects to rebuild Afghanistan that have not helped the Afghan people.

In some cases, these projects actually put Afghans in danger.

This is a Reality Check you won’t get anywhere else.

A new report shows that the U.S. has spent some $60 million on building totally useless power lines in Afghanistan. The effort, overseen by the army corps of engineers, was intended to help rebuild the country.

As we reported at TruthInMedia.com, the $60 million spent is just part of a $116 million project that was plagued from the start.

Back in 2013, the U.S. army corps of engineers awarded an Afghan company $116 million to design and build phases two and three of the north east power system, or NEPS, in Afghanistan. According to the report, published by SIGAR, or the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, the $60 million spent on a power transmission project is, quote, “not operational.”

Not operational, because the contract was poorly written. The afghan government was supposed to buy land in the path of the project, allowing the contractor to build phase. They didn’t, and yet the U.S. army corps of engineers gave the contractor clearances to move ahead with construction.

The result? Power lines built through privately held land, some over residential homes, causing real estate disputes. And there’s more.

The contractor’s approved plans did not include connecting the power transmission project to the power source. The army corps of engineers approved a submittal for a temporary connection, but those plans didn’t match the configuration of the power source. So there’s no way to test, let alone go live, with the project.

If the contractors can’t get the plans right, what about the construction of the project?

Well, according to the report, the project’s power towers foundations are already crumbling. Plus, they were built in loose soil, on embankments that are likely to erode. Near where people live.

So that’s $60 million of U.S. taxpayer dollars wasted on a non-operational project. But this isn’t the first time SIGAR has released troubling reports of government waste.

According to TruthInMedia.com, our government spent $160 million on a failed electronic payment system for the afghan government to collect taxes. SIGAR also identified $93 million spent on “forest” camouflage gear for Afghan troops, when there are very few forests in the country.

The irony here: the USAID published a video in 2011 promoting the NEPS project as a way to create efficiency and reduce cost.

What you need to know is that in the 17 years of the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan, it’s estimated that our government’s reconstruction effort has cost taxpayers $1 trillion. And the occupation continues.

President Trump authorized a troop surge in Afghanistan, bringing the total number of U.S. military there to 14,000. And that’s just military.

So if our government is willing to waste your tax dollars, endanger people halfway across the globe and put our service men and women at risk, to “create efficiency and reduce cost,” what exactly are they doing for us?

That’s Reality Check. Let’s talk about that, right now, on Facebook and Twitter.

Watchdog: US Govt. Wasted $60 Million on Power Lines in NE Afghanistan

According to a recently released report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), the U.S. military spent over $60 million building power lines in northeastern Afghanistan that are not only totally useless but also present a threat to residents.

The project, overseen by the Army Corps of Engineers, was the third phase of a project that cost a total of $116 million. The contract for the project was originally awarded to an Afghan company and was intended to result in a new power grid system in the country’s northeastern section.

However, the project was plagued with problems from the start. Initially, the Afghan government had agreed to help clear a path for the power lines by purchasing privately held land, a key step in the project’s initial stage. Even though the Afghan government never followed through, the contractors built the power lines anyway.

The poor wording of the contract also did not explicitly contain provisions for the company to connect the power lines to the nearest power substation and thus they are nonfunctional. Yet, not only are the power lines useless, but they also could present a danger to residents still living on the land where the lines were built, as the safety of the lines cannot be tested. SIGAR inspectors noted that many of the pylons of the power lines were built on unstable terrain and made with poor quality concrete that had already begun to crumble in several locations.

While the project serves as a striking example of wasted  taxpayer money and government mismanagement, it is by no means an isolated incident in terms of U.S. efforts to “rebuild” Afghanistan as part of the now 17-year-long U.S. occupation of the country.

SIGAR has identified numerous projects that were equally wasteful over the years, including a failed electronic payment system for tax collection in the country which cost American taxpayers $160 million. Another instance was the spending of $93 million on “forest” camouflage gear for Afghan troops despite the fact that there are few forests in Afghanistan, which cover around 2% of the country.

In addition, SIGAR has released several other reports so far this year that detail several other troubling incidents, including employees of the Army Corps of Engineers soliciting bribes, employees of U.S. government contractors accepting kickbacks, poorly built infrastructure and little to no maintenance of schools and hospitals built with U.S. taxpayer funds. The still ongoing U.S. occupation and “reconstruction” of Afghanistan is believed to have cost the U.S. over $1 trillion since 2001.