National Security

T.V. trucks sign of waste in Afghanistan

These TV trucks sit unused in Kabul, Afghanistan
These TV trucks sit unused in Kabul, Afghanistan SIGAR

In yet another sign of wasted U.S. money in Afghanistan, $3.6 million T.V trucks sit unused in Kabul after a delay of two years.

The State Department contract is only the latest example of a project that has come under fire by the U.S. special inspector general who watchdogs the rebuilding of Afghanistan.

The three trucks were supposed to be used for covering live sporting events, such as soccer, cricket and Buzkashi, which according to Wikipedia is a sport in which “horse-mounted players attempt to drag a goat carcass toward a goal.”

“Not only were the trucks delivered years late, but apparently the unit cost increased substantially,” wrote the special inspector general in a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, adding it “suggests that something is seriously wrong with the way this contract was managed.”

The special inspector general, John Sopko, is known for not mincing words when detailing massive problems with U.S. reconstruction efforts. When sensing his recommendations are being ignored, he has called out U.S. agencies publicly.

Sopko has described repeatedly how the U.S. government continues to pour money into the country despite projects that are delayed, over budget or not useful to Afghans. According to his estimates, the U.S. has spent more than $104 billion.

“At the end of this year we will have committed more funds to reconstruct Afghanistan, in inflation-adjusted terms, than the U.S. spent to rebuild Europe after World War II under the Marshall Plan,” he said in a speech in September.

"The bottom line: It appears we’ve created a government that the Afghans simply cannot afford.”