A blistering new report blasts the U.S. government's pouring of billions of dollars into projects in Afghanistan with inadequate oversight that in many cases fueled corruption on unprecedented levels and ultimately undermined America's mission there.
The 164-page report, published online today by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), is the first in the agency's "Lessons Learned" series, which takes a broader look at the U.S. government's shortcomings in the 15 years since the 2001 invasion. SIGAR previously released report after report about the waste of millions of dollars in failed individual projects.
This report, titled "Corruption in Conflict," says that at early on, the U.S. government did not "fully appreciate the potential for corruption to threaten the security and state-building mission in Afghanistan," where some form of regular corruption has existed for centuries.
"The U.S. government also failed to recognize that billions of dollars injected into a small, underdeveloped country, with limited oversight and strong pressures to spend, contributed to the growth of corruption," the report says.