Some $45 billion in US taxpayer money purported for the reconstruction of Afghanistan is missing, a new report by American auditors reveals.
The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) says there’s virtually no way to know what happened to the money spent by the Pentagon.
The auditors say the Pentagon has only handed over data for $21 billion of the total $66 billion spent in the war-torn country before 2010.
Until then, the Pentagon was not required to identify the pool of money spent in Afghanistan, making it impossible to track transactions.
“SIGAR is presenting this data here to inform Congress and the US taxpayer how their reconstruction dollars are being spent in Afghanistan,” Special Inspector John Sopko said.
According to The Fiscal Times, this is only the latest example of missing taxpayer money in Afghanistan.
SIGAR routinely cranks out eyebrow-raising reports flagging serious waste, fraud or abuse that has plagued the US government’s purported 13-year reconstruction plan in Afghanistan.
According to the paper, the watchdogs released a scathing report earlier this year, revealing the Pentagon had no way to verify whether the annual $300 million going to the Afghan Police Force was ending up in the right hands.
In another example, SIGAR noted US agencies could not identify all the various projects, programs and initiatives pretending to support Afghan women.
Afghanistan remains devastated more than ever after hundreds of billions of dollars wasted and tens of thousands of lives lost.