Eight patrol boats costing more than $US3 million are gathering dust at a Naval Station in Virginia, according to the watchdogs at the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR).
In correspondence made public between SIGAR and US military officials, the request to purchase the boats was made in October 2010 by the Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan (CSTC-A). But nine months later, the orders were cancelled and the boats were placed in storage, where they have sat for nearly three years.
Although Afghanistan is land-locked, the boats were intended to patrol river areas on the border between Uzbekistan and Afghanistan.
The CSTC-A maintains that, before being cancelled, the program “had been an important national security priority for the Afghan National Security Forces.” However, the CSTC-A can’t find any details or documents explaining the feasibility of using these boats or how they planned to employ them in the first place.
Even more unbelievable, the CSTC-A can’t locate any documentation approving the need for the program. Along with the missing approval, they are also missing any reasons or justifications for cancelling the request.
“This is not the first time SIGAR has been confronted with lapses in record keeping, which hinder our ability to conduct our congressionally-mandated mission to oversee U.S. reconstruction funds,” the Special Inspector General of SIGAR writes in a letter to the leaders of the CTSC-A.
This also isn’t the first such report from SIGAR. Just a cursory look at their website finds allegations of fraud, waste, and abuse as common in Afghanistan as dirt.
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