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Because the U.S. began operations in Iraq and Afghanistan without sufficient planning or oversight to track spending — it lost $1 out of every $6 spent.A new report by the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan to be released to Congress Wednesday concludes that over the past decade this comes to $30 billion wasted (via The Washington Post).
And that number could double as the U.S. proceeds with projects that foreign governments are unwilling or unable to sustain once American association ends.
Excerpts from the report were released Monday. The Post reports:
Tens of billions of taxpayer dollars have been wasted through poor planning, vague and shifting requirements, inadequate competition, substandard contract management and oversight, lax accountability, weak interagency coordination, and subpar performance or outright misconduct by some contractors and federal employees. Both government and contractors need to do better.
Our final report shows that the costs of contracting waste and fraud extend beyond the disservice to taxpayers. The costs include diminishing for U.S. military, diplomatic and development efforts; fostering corruption in host countries; and undermining U.S. standing and influence overseas.
Failed projects include:
- $40 million on a prison Iraqis never wanted and was never finished.
- $300 million on a Kabul power plant that requires funding and expertise far beyond what the Afghans are able to provide.
- $11.4 billion National Security Forces program that is proving totally unsustainable.