Monday, September 10, 2012

Billion dollar fuel rip-off found in Afghan withdrawal

Taliban Toyota fueled by U.S. taxpayers' dollars as Afghan war winds down
Ignorance is strength; freedom is slavery; war is peace

WASHINGTON — Think about this the next time you pump a tank full of high-priced gas.

There's no proof that $1.1 billion worth of fuel supplied by the NATO command that supervises Afghan security forces is actually being used for their missions.
That means it's not known how much fuel has been lost, stolen or diverted to the insurgency, according to a report released Monday by Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction John F. Sopko.
The report is the latest bad news surrounding a key element of the U.S. exit strategy for Afghanistan. Washington has spent billions of dollars on the international coalition's effort to train and equip Afghan forces it hopes eventually will be able to fight the Taliban on their own. The new report comes on top of growing questions in recent weeks about how recruits are vetted for the Afghan forces — questions prompted by a spike in insider attacks in which Afghan soldiers, police or impersonators have killed 45 international service members this year, mostly Americans.
The report also found:
An audit of the spending is being hampered because someone shredded financial records covering $475 million in fuel payments over more than four years and officials inexplicably couldn't provide complete records for a fifth year.
There is insufficient justification for the ever-ballooning budget requests for fuel that have been made by the command managing NATO's mission to equip and train Afghan forces.
Millions of dollars in the proposed funding should be cut until international forces figure out how many vehicles and generators the Afghan security forces are actually using and how much fuel is needed for those vehicles and for power plants.
"Fuel consumption estimates for vehicle usage cannot be determined accurately ... due to the continuing fielding of vehicles, power generation" and other equipment, the military's written response said, adding that over 25,000 vehicles and generators had been issued to the Afghans since 2010.
It said that as coalition forces withdraw from Afghanistan and Afghans take on greater responsibility, the need will keep increasing.

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