State Dept Spent Millions Upgrading Afghan TV Sports Coverage

Trucks Arrived Too Damaged to Use

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) has revealed another bizarre and ultimately fruitless US expenditure in Afghanistan.

This time it was the State Department, which spent $3.6 million on equipment to gift to Afghan TV stations to upgrade the quality of live sports broadcasts on television there.

Interestingly, the SIGAR questions weren’t centered around why the State Department felt it was their job to spend millions of dollars trying to make televised sports in Afghanistan more compelling.

Rather, their problem was that, as is so often the case, the program didn’t accomplish anything, and even the modest goals of making TV broadcasts of Afghanistan’s weird horseback riders fighting over a stuffed goat game better went unmet.

That’s because the broadcast trucks bought with the $3.6 million, which were supposed to be given to the TV stations, arrived broken. Instead of trying to cancel the contract. the State Department has simply left them sitting under a tarp in Kabul, collecting dust.

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.