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Here’s Exactly How Much The US Has Spent On The War In Afghanistan — So Far
The United States has spent $714 billion on a war it’s losing.
That’s according to the latest quarterly report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, its 36th on the subject in the more than 15 years since the U.S. military invaded Afghanistan after the September 11th, 2001, attacks. An estimated 86%, or $675 billion, was doled out by the Department of Defense — a particularly alarming figure, given that Secretary of Defense James Mattis declared on June 13 that the armed forces “are not winning in Afghanistan right now, and we will correct this as soon as possible.”
Given that the national public debt has soared thanks to expenditures on the Forever Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a hefty bill should surprise no one — but the examples of waste, misappropriation, corruption, and outright incompetence should infuriate every taxpayer. Let’s take a look at where your hard-earned money goes, shall we?
- According to one of two performance audits conducted by SIGAR, the Pentagon spent $457.7 million on programs designed to help the Afghan National Forces build their intelligence-gathering capabilities, but the DoD can’t actually measure its return on investment “because of a lack of performance metrics.” Existing records maintained by the Afghan military showed that “intelligence trainers and instructors failed to meet the minimally established training requirements;” it’s hard to imagine the intel forces’ experience deviates significantly from this trend.
- SIGAR flagged just over $27.2 million in “questioned costs” across all U.S.-funded Afghan reconstruction contracts, a classification that encompasses “incorrect employee payments and miscalculations of travel costs, exceeding maximum budgets without prior approval, and insufficient documentation to support project expenses.” You know that jerk who steals office supplies, and then everyone’s bonuses get cut? In Afghanistan, that jerk has grown into a $414.5 million problem since October 2001.
- Of the $8 million obligated since 2010 to bring Sesame Street to Afghan TV networks, more than half a million simply disappeared.
- A Qatar-based construction firm contracted for $16.1 million to renovate Afghanistan's largest prison not only finished just half the job, but failed to correct construction problems detailed in previous SIGAR reports starting in 2010 — despite the contract swelling to $20.2 million. Which, well, fuck.
- DoD spent $94 million on woodland camouflage uniforms for local forces in a country that’s only 2.1% forests — a decision that a June SIGAR report says resulted from then-Afghanistan Minister of Defense Abdul Rahim Wardak picking a random uniform he liked off a website, which is just awful.
This problem is only going to get worse: Afghanistan's own domestic revenues declined nearly 25% over the last year and only covered about 40% of total government expenditures, leaving the U.S. to fill in government coffers. But SIGAR’s investigations this quarter earned more than $5.5 million in savings for the U.S. government, so there’s an upside, I guess!
Better start clipping those coupons, y’all.
Army Staff Sgt. Albert Leon Mampre, who served during World War II with the famed Easy Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne Division depicted in the HBO series 'Band of Brothers,' was laid to rest on June 15th, the Army announced
Mampre, who died on May 31 at 97 years old, was the last living medic from Easy Company, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. A number of soldiers assigned to his unit provided an honor guard for his funeral service.
NIEUWEGEIN, Netherlands (Reuters) - Three Russians and a Ukrainian will face murder charges for the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine which killed 298 people, in a trial to start in the Netherlands next March, an investigation team said on Wednesday.
The suspects are likely to be tried in absentia, however, as the Netherlands has said Russia has not cooperated with the investigation and is not expected to hand anyone over.
"These suspects are seen to have played an important role in the death of 298 innocent civilians", said Dutch Chief Prosecutor Fred Westerbeke.
"Although they did not push the button themselves, we suspect them of close cooperation to get the (missile launcher) where it was, with the aim to shoot down an airplane."
Navy SEAL under investigation for allegedly manipulating (and hitting on) the widow of the Green Beret he helped kill
A Navy SEAL sentenced to one year in prison for the death of Army Special Forces Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar is under investigation for allegedly flirting with Melgar's widow while using a false name and trying to persuade her that he and another SEAL accused of killing her husband were "really good guys," according to the Washington Post.
The push finally allow troops to sue the military over medical malpractice just got a major boost in Congress
A senator has taken up the cause to negate a controversial court ruling that bars service members from suing the federal government in cases of medical malpractice by military doctors.
NAVAL BASE SAN DIEGO — The trial of Navy SEAL Chief Eddie Gallagher officially kicked off on Tuesday with the completion of jury selection, opening statements, and witness testimony indicating that drinking alcohol on the front lines of Mosul, Iraq in 2017 seemed to be a common occurrence for members of SEAL Team 7 Alpha Platoon.
Government prosecutors characterized Gallagher as a knife-wielding murderer who not only killed a wounded ISIS fighter but shot indiscriminately at innocent civilians, while the defense argued that those allegations were falsehoods spread by Gallagher's angry subordinates, with attorney Tim Parlatore telling the jury that "this trial is not about murder. It's about mutiny."