U.S. watchdog warns billions invested in Afghan security at risk
January 24th, 2011
12:18 PM ET

U.S. watchdog warns billions invested in Afghan security at risk

Billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars spent to train, equip and support Afghanistan security forces may end up wasted, according to the watchdog of reconstruction spending.

The special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, retired Marine Gen. Arnold Fields, in what may be his final public event before he retires next month, painted a starkly pessimistic picture of what lies ahead in Afghanistan.

The build-up of the Afghanistan army and police is a key element in the Obama administration's plans to withdraw U.S. forces by the end of 2014. But Fields told the Commission on Wartime Contracting that the build-up is at risk.

"The United States lacks a comprehensive plan for building ANA (Afghan National Army) and ANP (Afghan National Police) facilities," Fields said. "The projects audited to date have been seriously behind schedule."

And Fields said it is not clear how Afghanistan will be able to sustain the big police and army building projects - such as barracks and training bases - once U.S. Forces withdraw.

"These issues place the entire U.S. investment of $11.4 billion in ANSF (Afghan National Security Forces) facilities construction at risk of not meeting Afghan needs or intended purposes and resulting in a large degree of waste," Fields said in his prepared statement to the commission.

Members of Congress repeatedly have criticized Fields for not being more aggressive in watching over the more than $56 billion in Afghanistan reconstruction. He has said it took time to establish his watchdog agency in 2008 and oversight in a war zone is difficult and dangerous.

Fields admitted that American taxpayers are "wary" of the U.S. investment in Afghanistan.

He said the U.S. plan calls for 884 projects for Afghanistan army and police to be completed by the end of fiscal year 2012. But Fields said only 133 are completed, 78 are under construction and 673 have not been started.

soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. thecomedian

    LOSING MONEY??????.......this is worse than I thought

    February 5, 2011 at 12:22 am | Report abuse |
  2. Rear Admiral Vic Beck

    We very much respect the leadership, views and effort on the part of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, retired Marine Major General Arnold Fields, though there are a couple of items in the reporting that need to be clarified. First, we do not expect to finish all the construction projects until 2014. Many of the projects will not be funded until the start of 2012, and will begin construction in 2013, with expected completion by late 2014. Second, we do have a plan to accommodate, both on a temporary and permanent basis, the growth of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF). Our plan for temporary facilities allows us to continue our progress towards transition of security from international forces to ANSF while we build permanent facilities.

    In January 2010, the international community decided to grow the ANSF to 305,600. We are fielding those forces, but we are only now starting the build of long-term structures and facilities. As part of the plan for such growth, we have also provisioned for not only maintenance and repair, but for training Afghan facility engineers as well. We recognize that sustainability will be challenging, but we have put measures in place to reinforce Afghan stewardship of these important investments.

    Rear Admiral Vic Beck
    Director, Public Affairs
    International Security Assistance Force, Afghanistan

    January 25, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Lafayette,IN

      Thank you Rear Admiral Vic Beck for your reassurance of our abilities in this mission.

      January 25, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dan in Lafayette,IN

        Sorry folks,I never posted the above. Some jerk is trying to make a fool out of me.

        January 25, 2011 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |

    This is an ultimate reality that America is paying for wrong assessments of Afghanistan. The longer they stay the most they will suffer. This is a result of deviation from true American values which RANDY has well explained, even appreciated by the man with multiple faces like DAN. Obama is not being allowed to change America but soon Americans will rise to change America when they will see the real faces of MIC, Corporatocracy, and Pentagon in Afghanistan. These billions of dollars of American tax payers have not been or are not being spent on the reconstruction or rehabilitation of Afghanistan but rather half of it is spent on bombing and killing of Afghans while half directly goes to the pockets of contractors, MIC and military Generals. Americans as a nation in return earn hate through this hard earned money. NOW DAN you asses is this wise decision in any way and if not then why you insist on this self destruction?

    January 25, 2011 at 12:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • salerno

      Bangash – you are totally correct. American is going to destroy itself with these wars, untill people will not realise that and start to set up ahainst the regime. It is not a democracy when you cen only vote for 2 parties making the same policy, and financed by the same corporations !

      January 25, 2011 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |


    January 25, 2011 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dan in Lafayette,IN

    The place would again become the devil's playground!

    January 25, 2011 at 7:53 am | Report abuse |
  6. Randy

    Afganistan is a rat hole. We have no business wasting our money over there. Our government's priorities are wrong. Now they want to cut back on Social Security and Medicare and why? So they can waste more by pouring our tax money down a rat hole like Afganistan? We have not fought a credible war on drugs here in the United States. We wasted a huge amount of money in Iraq. And what for? Sadaam's weapons of mass destruction? Viet Nam did not teach us anything? Former president Eisenhower warned about a "military industrial complex." Now the "praise the Lord and pass the amunition" wierdos reign. Even Obama who promised "change we can believe" has fallen for the extremist conservative ideas hook line and sinker. When are we going to come to our senses?

    January 24, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Lafayette,IN

      Very well posted,Randy. I couldn't have said it better myself and nothing could be closer to the truth!!! Thank you.

      January 25, 2011 at 4:04 am | Report abuse |
      • Dan in Lafayette,IN

        So Randy and phony boy are you racist? Also do you believe that the Taliban should be allowed to rule the people of Afghanistan through terror and murder and allow safe have to al Qaeda leaders who planned attacks against US interests including the 9/11 attacks? Are you so naive to think that the sane thing will not happen if we were to leave?

        January 25, 2011 at 7:51 am | Report abuse |
  7. Dan in Lafayette,IN

    Billions of dollars down the drain! What infuriates me is that last week I read that both the police and fire departments in Camden,NJ had to lay off people for lack of money,for instance. That's they Washington does business these days,but who cares???

    January 24, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dan in Lafayette,IN

      Sorry folks about the missprint above. I meant to say " the way" Washington does business,not "they".

      January 24, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dan in Lafayette,IN

        So phony boy would it be better if the likes of the Taliban which terrorized their people and young men and boys to join their ranks? And also become a nation where terrorists would be free to come and train and plan attacks against freedom and democracy everywhere in the world? I believe the whole Christian world should spend their last dime if need be to stop these anti-Christ terrorist who make false statements about who Jesus IS and what HE preached! These Islamic extremists believe that they have the right to kill and persecute those who have faith in Jesus as God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit! Jesus said love thy enemy, well love the Muslim brothers who do not kill and in such cowardly ways such as training boys as young as 9 years old to become suicide bombers! God gave us the knowledge for the use of these drones in this era to rain fire upon these devilish peoples heads and we should use them to the maximum of their ability until they relent of their fanatical religious dream of controlling the world by terror activity! Because it is not God's way but the devils way!

        January 24, 2011 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        Dan – Not only Taleban are making statements about Jesus that you don't like, but all the muslims around the world.
        Additionally young suicide bombers of 9 years or so are a reaction to the US and Paki military attacks as they were not present before 2008 in Pakistan and they STARTED AFTER the war and increased in recent 2 years even in Afghanistan. Suicide bombers of 9/11 and Cole were adults and not related to self-defense. This is why suicide bombers will not stop.

        January 25, 2011 at 2:20 am | Report abuse |
      • Dan in Lafayette,IN

        The children shall be saved but those adults you talk about shall burn in hell forever along with those who turn the children into suicide bombers, but they will wish that they were never born for turning God's children into doing such devilish things!

        January 25, 2011 at 7:35 am | Report abuse |
      • Dan in Lafayette,IN

        Let me ask you a queation salerno, if Muslims believe in Jesus' second coming then what will His purpose be then?

        January 25, 2011 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        Dan – It is quite similar to the S. John revelation, with the intervention of another person, the Mahadi with the mission to prepare the second come of Jesus in order to defeat the anti-Christ.

        January 25, 2011 at 10:24 am | Report abuse |
      • Dan in Lafayette,IN

        And who is the anti-Christ? Is it not those who do not believe that Jesus is the Christ and persecute those who do?

        January 25, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        S.John describes the anti-Christ as supported by the kings of the earth and their MILITARIES (United Nations) fighting against the Christ come againg on a white horse. Also in the Hindu Purana, the 10th and last avatara of Visnu will come on a white horse.

        January 25, 2011 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
      • Dan in Lafayette,IN

        The book of revelations is very hard to interpret, but what I can remember from it is the ten horns that represent ten kings that were given authority to rule and I deemed them to be Islamic states that think that Islam will rule the world. I guess I'll have to wait to see if my interpretation is correct.

        January 25, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        S.John states that the Beast with 7 heads and 10 10 horns WILL rule the world and will be very rich. The Christ militia wich will defeat the beast (Satan) and the anti-Christ or false prophet leading it will be from HEAVEN (ouranos), wlie the military of the beats will be from earth (material). The process is divided into 2 phasis.: the first where the satan called Babilonia is believed referring to Roma and Neron. The second part is undetermined, but it is here that the anti-Christ and the second come of Christ should meet togheter.

        January 25, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        Yacobi – it is true that trying to predict the future is dangerouse, and I do not think we are living now the last days . Anyway you under the number 14313 quoted S.John 10.10 to me (aqui2lini). Why you consider Enoch hindu? He is the equivalent of Idris, one of the 27 prophets under the Islamic doctrine.

        January 25, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        Yacobi, I understand your point, may be it is a matter of names or terms. My source is The "Fuçuç al Hikam" by Ibn Arabi. In the chapter called Al-Hikmat Al-Quddusiyah, Idris and Enoch appear to be the same person.

        January 26, 2011 at 3:39 am | Report abuse |
      • salerno

        Many scholars disagree with the identification Idris-Enoch. Enoch is described in the Bible in a similar way than Idris in the Quran. "We made for him a place in the heaven".

        January 26, 2011 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. salerno

    I told many times US is wasting lives and money in Afghanistan. They are idiot unable to understand anything.
    I love to see US wasting their money and taxpayers becoming angry !

    January 24, 2011 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Carole Clarke

    What do you expect? It will take at least 3 generations of the advanced western culture for those people to catch up and by all accounts they don't want to! The British tried it and so did the Russians – no luck. If catching up means they have to leave behind most of their culture then they won't do it. Blackberrys and IPODS would probably go down good since they are so portable but that's it. Replace the bridges and clear the tunnels and passes. Perhaps a regular rail line but they don't want the rest of it.

    January 24, 2011 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |