$3.1 billion corruption unveiled in US - Afghan Army contracts: US Report

$3.1 billion corruption unveiled in US - Afghan Army contracts: US Report

WASHINGTON - The report released by US Department of Defence states that the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, or CSTC-A, cannot definitively account for $3.1 billion USD of US taxpayer’s money that went to the Afghan government from 2014 to 2017 to aid the Afghan army and national police, the Defense Department's Inspector General found, according a report released last week.

The lack of accountability leaves the funds vulnerable to "fraud, waste and abuse", the report stated.

“CSTC-A officials did not effectively manage and oversee the US direct funding provided to the Ministries of Defense and Interior, which oversees Afghanistan's Army and National Police, respectively," the report stated.

"CSTC-A management and oversight of the direct funding is intended to increase [Afghan security forces] effectiveness and capabilities so the [forces] can become more professional and increasingly self-sustaining," read the report.

Officials from the command, which is charged with funding and training Afghan forces, largely blamed "inadequate staffing and security concerns" for any shortcomings. However, the IG found systemic issues were also to blame.

CSTC-A officials established unrealistic and unattainable goals for the Afghans to improve their own capabilities toward achieving independence in supplying their own troops, the report says.

The report was the eighth and final report in a series of oversight investigations into CSTC-A functions since 2015. The reports have uncovered widespread issues within the command, including the commands' inability to account for more than $700 million USD worth of ammunition provided to the Afghan security forces between 2015 and 2017. *report issued by the US Department of Defense Inspector General shows that CSTC-A officials did not implement controls to properly account for and maintain thousands of vehicles handed over to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces.*

According to the report, Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, or CSTC-A, officials obtained approximately 95,000 vehicles for the ANDSF; however, CSTC-A officials did not have an accurate inventory of the vehicles.

The report also stated CSTC-A officials could not determine the types and quantities of vehicles transferred to the ANDSF. In addition, CSTC-A officials did not have controls in place to ensure that MoD and MoI officials consistently followed property accountability procedures.

“For example, an ANDSF vehicle that was reported as destroyed in battle and removed from the property books was later brought in for maintenance,” the report stated.

The Afghan Ministry of Defense has however rejected the report.