US wasting billions on military contracts
Report Finds Vast Waste in U.S. War Contracts
A draft report by a bipartisan congressional panel shows that the United States has wasted or misspent USD 34 billion on contracting for services in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The three-year investigation comes from the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, which was established by Congress in 2008, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The report, which is expected to be sent to Capitol Hill in the next few weeks, lays out in detail the failure of federal agencies in American wars.
The draft report names several poorly managed projects, such as a USD 300 million spending on a US Agency for International Development of agriculture, a project with a "burn rate" of USD 1 million a day that paid Afghan farmers to work in their own fields.
The US government's controversial use of private security contractors has been another focus of the report which is the biggest issue of the US wartime contracting.
On September 16, 2007, private security firm Blackwater guards, now known as Xe Services, shot and killed 17 Iraqi civilians in Baghdad, a move which sparked a political and diplomatic crisis.
The report says that the inappropriate use of contract security has at times inadvertently undermined the aims of the US foreign policy.
Senate investigators found last year that forces serving in private security agencies in Afghanistan often have ties to criminals, insurgents and local warlords.