Audit: Pentagon Gave Afghan Contracts to Terrorists

Limited Efforts to Keep Taxpayer Funds From Insurgents

by Jason Ditz, April 11, 2013

A new audit (pdf) from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has found significant weaknesses in the oversight intended to keep the Pentagon from giving contracts to Taliban and other insurgent factions.

The Section 841 process is designed specifically around the reality that with so many contracts being given out willy-nilly sooner or later terrorist-linked people or groups are going to get them, and empowers them to terminate contracts after the fact if it turns out they outsourced something to their own enemies in a warzone.

The SIGAR report notes that this process has been used four times so far, but also notes that the Pentagon is failing to implement the fail-safes designed to either prevent contracts from being given to insurgents or to catch them after the fact.

The conclusion is that the Pentagon has ended up contracting out to insurgents in the past, but even more frighteningly that it is almost certainly still doing so unwittingly, with Inspector Sopko urging Centcom to implement additional controls to examine contracts already given, and any future ones.

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