You Know What the Pentegon Needs?

Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2015 11:20 am
Pentagon wasting so much money, it stopped investigating who wasted $800 million

Last edited Fri Nov 13, 2015, 09:41 AM - Edit history (1)

In 2011, the final report of the congressionally mandated Commission on Wartime Contracting estimated that somewhere between $31 billion and $60 billion taxpayer dollars had been lost to fraud and waste in the American “reconstruction” of Iraq and Afghanistan.

A $75 million police-academy in Iraq where feces rained through the ceiling. The american construction-company promised to repair it... for another $75 million. There's still feces and urine dripping through the ceiling.

$40 million for a prison that was never finished.

$3.4 million went to an iraqi construction-company to build a teaching-center in Afghanistan. They took the money and walked away.

$300 million to build roads in Iraq. 25% was siphoned off by the company and the rest was used for 100 miles of road... 10 times what other roads cost.

$2.58 million for a chicken-processing-plant in Iraq that never processed a chicken.

$50 million for a military-headquarter in Afghanistan that the US-military didn't want and tried to stop from being built, but Congress forced it through.

465,000 small arms that the US shipped to Afghanistan and lost track off.

Most recently, there was the Task Force for Business Stability Operations, an $800-million Pentagon project to help jump-start the Afghan economy. It was shut down only six months ago and yet, in response to requests from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, the Pentagon swears that there are “no Defense Department personnel who can answer questions about” what the task force did with its money. As ProPublica’s Megan McCloskey writes, “The Pentagon’s claims are particularly surprising since Joseph Catalino, the former acting director of the task force who was with the program for two years, is still employed by the Pentagon as Senior Advisor for Special Operations and Combating Terrorism."

$43 million for a compressed natural gas station (10 times the cost of an ordinary gas-station)... in an area in Afghanistan where there are neither natural gas nor cars who run on natural gas.

$15 million in fuel sold by US-soldiers to Afghans on the black-market.

$25 billion to create an iraqi army... that employed 50,000 "ghost soldiers" who only existed to have their salaries siphoned off by corrupt commanders.

25% of the afghani police are estimated to consist of such "ghosts".

$384 million to train 200 US-friendly syrian rebels. According to congressional testimony, out of those 200, only 4 or 5 are still in the field in Syria. The General who oversaw this program is in line for a promotion.


2014: Pentagon says 90% of its funds can now be audited

2015: Marine Corps fails audit, auditors get overruled, Marine Corps magically passes audit


You know what the Pentagon needs?

More money.
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Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2015 11:51 am
@bobsal u1553115,
Even if I take the low end of the estimate and then further assume that 50% of it is debatable, it's still an appalling level of waste.

I'm not sure what can be done to fix the problem though.
bobsal u1553115
Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2015 01:32 pm
Not getting angry won't help.

Did you hear about the 480Million dollars worth of Italian made air-tankers (you can thank Sen McCain for single-handedly making sure these air-tankers were Italian and not US made) the Pentegon gave Afghanistan - who had no-one qualified to either fly or maintain these planes?

They were scrapped for $36K less than six months after delivery.
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bobsal u1553115
Reply Fri 13 Nov, 2015 02:17 pm
It’s a $cam!: The American Way of War in the Twenty-First Century

from TomDispatch:

It’s a $cam!
The American Way of War in the Twenty-First Century

By Tom Engelhardt

Let’s begin with the $12 billion in shrink-wrapped $100 bills, Iraqi oil money held in the U.S. The Bush administration began flying it into Baghdad on C-130s soon after U.S. troops entered that city in April 2003. Essentially dumped into the void that had once been the Iraqi state, at least $1.2 to $1.6 billion of it was stolen and ended up years later in a mysterious bunker in Lebanon. And that’s just what happened as the starting gun went off.

It’s never ended. In 2011, the final report of the congressionally mandated Commission on Wartime Contracting estimated that somewhere between $31 billion and $60 billion taxpayer dollars had been lost to fraud and waste in the American “reconstruction” of Iraq and Afghanistan. In Iraq, for instance, there was that $75 million police academy, initially hailed “as crucial to U.S. efforts to prepare Iraqis to take control of the country's security.” It was, however, so poorly constructed that it proved a health hazard. In 2006, “feces and urine rained from the ceilings in student barracks” and that was only the beginning of its problems.

When the bad press started, Parsons Corporation, the private contractor that built it, agreed to fix it for nothing more than the princely sum already paid. A year later, a New York Times reporter visited and found that “the ceilings are still stained with excrement, parts of the structures are crumbling, and sections of the buildings are unusable because the toilets are filthy and nonfunctioning.” This seems to have been par for the course. Typically enough, the Khan Bani Saad Correctional Facility, a $40 million prison Parsons also contracted to build, was never even finished.

And these were hardly isolated cases or problems specific to Iraq. Consider, for instance, those police stations in Afghanistan believed to be crucial to “standing up” a new security force in that country. Despite the money poured into them and endless cost overruns, many were either never completed or never built, leaving new Afghan police recruits camping out. And the police were hardly alone. Take the $3.4 million unfinished teacher-training center in Sheberghan, Afghanistan, that an Iraqi company was contracted to build (using, of course, American dollars) and from which it walked away, money in hand.

And why stick to buildings, when there were those Iraqi roads to nowhere paid for by American dollars? At least one of them did at least prove useful to insurgent groups moving their guerrillas around (like the $37 million bridge the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built between Afghanistan and Tajikistan that helped facilitate the region's booming drug trade in opium and heroin). In Afghanistan, Highway 1 between the capital Kabul and the southern city of Kandahar, unofficially dubbed the “highway to nowhere,” was so poorly constructed that it began crumbling in its first Afghan winter. ................(more)

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