Tags: afghanistan projects

US-Funded Projects Crumble Under Afghan Control

Tuesday, 04 Jan 2011 11:40 AM



Roads, canals and schools built in Afghanistan as part of a special U.S. military program are crumbling under Afghan stewardship, The Washington Post reports, despite steps imposed over the past year to ensure that reconstruction money is not being wasted, according to government reports and interviews with military and civilian personnel.

U.S. troops in Afghanistan have spent $2 billion over six years on 16,000 humanitarian projects through the Commander's Emergency Response Program, which gives a battalion-level commander the power to treat aid dollars as ammunition.

A report slated for release this month reveals that CERP projects can quickly slide into neglect after being transferred to Afghan control. The Afghans had problems maintaining about half of the 69 projects reviewed in eastern Laghman province, according to an audit by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.

The spending in Afghanistan is part of the $5 billion provided to U.S. military commanders for projects in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2004. The new report is the latest to identify shortcomings and missteps in the program, whose ventures have included the Jadriyah Lake park in Iraq, planned as a water park but now barren two years after a U.S. military inauguration ceremony.

The dilapidated projects in Afghanistan could present a challenge to the U.S. strategy of shifting more responsibility to Afghans. Investing in infrastructure, notes President Obama's December review of the war, "will give the Afghan government and people the tools to build and sustain a future of stability."


Read the entire story at washingtonpost.com

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