President Trump is expected to announce an increase of a few thousand troops in Afghanistan Monday night, taking the reins of a conflict where today 8,500 personnel are mostly focused on buttressing their Afghan counterparts in the face of Taliban and Islamic State gains.
The Defense Department, the State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development and other agencies have spent $714 billion of war and reconstruction funding since the invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001 to bolster education programs, improve infrastructure and increase the competency of Afghan security forces.
Insurgents have deliberately targeted U.S.-led projects, including schools and roads, with hopes of dividing the population. That has come at a considerable expense to American taxpayers.
Yet America’s longest war has become a symbol for wartime graft and corruption in one of the world’s least governable countries rocked by conflict for decades.
John Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, or SIGAR, has led the effort in recent years to uncover wasteful spending and boondoggled projects. Here are some of most notable examples of waste that he and others have found:
$6 million: Cashmere goats
The aim was to jump start Afghanistan’s cashmere industry and grow its profile on the international market. A Pentagon task force funded the purchase and transport of nine rare…
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