Blank Check: US Aid for Afghan Lawyers Another Bottomless Hole

Inspector General: Program Lacks Even Basic Oversight

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) is a never-ending job, with programs both new and old seemingly forever popping up with little to no oversight and wasting millions in taxpayer dollars.

Today’s edition is the State Department’s “justice training” program, which will drop $47.4 million on training Afghan judges and lawyers and which, according to SIGAR John Sopko lacks even “basic provisions” for serious oversight.

Sopko noted (pdf) that not only were such provisions not in place, but the contractor who is receiving the money has refused to comply with SIGAR requests for information about the organization of the program.

The State Department condemned SIGAR for the report, saying that the program has “only been in place about six months” and that there hasn’t been any evidence of fraud yet. Of course, the lack of oversight means that there likely never will be such evidence.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.