US Oversight of Afghan Aid Will Get Worse After 2014

Much of Afghanistan Will Be Inaccessible

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) is a position that over the past several years has documented myriad examples of waste and overt fraud among contractors, and always followed it up with pleas for the Pentagon and State Department to oversee the projects more. That’s not the direction things are going.

Rather, with the planned drawdown at the end of 2014, the SIGAR is now warning that oversight is going to get quite a bit worse going forward, with the waning occupation leaving at most 21 percent of the nation safe for civilian oversight personnel.

How much that’s going to change things really remains to be seen, as while that means projects across the vast majority of Afghanistan are completely oversight-free, the practical matter is that the oversight personnel have tended to sit on their hands in the face of major corruption until they get called on it by SIGAR anyhow.

This warning from SIGAR is in direct contrast to efforts by other NATO members, who are trying to focus their post-2014 occupation more and more on keeping an eye on the aid projects. The US deployment will be by far the largest, but since they’ve never had more than a very tenuous grasp on where their aid money goes, it seems a low priority.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.