Money Has Run Out for Afghan 'Pentagon'

Monday, 09 Dec 2013 06:55 AM

By Elliot Jager

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
The United States has spent about $107 million so far on a still unfinished Kabul building that is supposed to serve as Afghanistan's 'Pentagon, but construction has now been suspended because the U.S. government has run out of money, The Washington Post reports.

It's now up to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to decide whether to authorize an additional $24 million to complete the building.

U.S. taxpayers, meanwhile, have provided about $53 billion since 2005 to train, equip, house and feed Afghanistan's security services personnel, the Post reported Sunday.

The unfinished 'Pentagon' is part of a $9.3 billion construction splurge financed by Washington to build bases, outposts and hospitals for the Afghan military.

The cost-overruns have been blamed on the unique security, logistics, and weather difficulties of building inside Kabul's heavily fortified "green zone." The building is also designed to withstand an 8.0 magnitude earthquake, adding to the costs, and neighboring Pakistan sometimes holds up supply convoys at its border with Afghanistan, causing construction delays.

The New York Times also reports problems with corrupt Afghan contractors. Some are known to have ties with the Taliban insurgency, the newspaper reported last month.

But according to the Post, there is no proof the 'Pentagon' project ran out of money just because of corruption that is endemic to Afghanistan. John Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan, for example, said poor planning, lax recordkeeping, shoddy oversight, and security problems all contributed to exhausting the construction budget.

He told the Post the project is typical of the "rush to spend" U.S. tax dollars on the Afghan military, he said, adding that American commanders come and go while local contractors press for additional funds even if the work they did was not evaluated or their bills vetted.

"That is a recipe for disaster," Sopko said.

An unnamed U.S. official also told the Post, "Nobody was watching it like they should, and it's just been an open checkbook. We failed, big time."

There are dozens of ongoing projects worth over a $1 billion whose completion will be jeopardized if Kabul and Washington cannot agree on regulating the U.S. presence in the country after 2014, the Post also reported.

Related Stories:

© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Retype Email:
Country
Zip Code:
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
You May Also Like

Catholic League's Donohue: Pope May Visit NYC Next Year

Monday, 28 Jul 2014 16:51 PM

Pope Francis could very well add New York City to his rumored trip to Philadelphia next year, according to Bill Donohue, . . .

Chicago's Emanuel Boosting Shelter Space for Child Illegals

Monday, 28 Jul 2014 17:27 PM

Chicago will set up additional shelters for unaccompanied immigrant children to be funded by the federal government and  . . .

Embattled Cuomo Defends Handling of 'Corrupt' Corruption Panel

Monday, 28 Jul 2014 16:43 PM

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday defended his handling of an anti-corruption commission, dismissing reports that his administ . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved