Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, August 18th, 2017

US Spending in Afghanistan Lacks Monitoring: SIGAR

US Spending in Afghanistan  Lacks Monitoring: SIGAR

WASHINGTON - The US has failed to offer any justification for hundreds of billions of dollars spent on propping up the Afghan government, as the Taliban control large swaths of the country, where the value of opium has dramatically increased.
A federal watchdog of the American administration, which has spent over $714bn in the past 15 years supporting Afghan armed forces and building infrastructure, said on Tuesday the value of opium had doubled in a year.
In a its latest quarterly report, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) alleged the results of the massive spending were less than satisfactory due to widespread corruption and lack of US monitoring on the ground.
It said the balance between the government and the insurgents fighting against it remained at standstill since 2016. Sixty percent of the Afghan districts were controlled by the government and 40 percent by Taliban or other rebel outfits.
"From March 1 through May 31, 2017, the UN recorded 6,252 security incidents, a 21 percent increase from last quarter," SIGAR noted. At least 2,531 Afghan security personnel were killed and 4,238 wounded in action during the period.
The report said the estimated value of opium and its by-products produced in Afghanistan rose to $3.02bn in 2016 from $1.56bn in 2015.
The US was asked not to shrink from taking risks and venture beyond the heavily fortified US government compounds to keep an eye on its investments and spending in Afghanistan.
"SIGAR is concerned that US officials, whether at State, USAID, Justice, Treasury, Commerce, or elsewhere, cannot oversee the billions of dollars the United States is dedicating to Afghan reconstruction if, for the most part, they cannot leave the US embassy compound," said John Sopko. (Pajhwok)