By Mir Aqa Popalzai
John F. Sopko, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (Sigar), said in an address on Monday that over 50 percent of fuel purchased for the Afghan Security and Defense Forces (ANDSF) was not reaching its intended destination.
“We have heard, we haven’t documented it exactly because it’s so difficult but that over 50 percent of the fuel we purchase for the Afghans never reaches the intended people. The fuel just gets diverted,” he said.
He went on to say that NATO commander in Afghanistan General John Nicholson is working on the problem.
Speaking to the Washington Journal, which provides a forum for lawmakers and journalists to discuss key topics surrounding today's legislation, Sopko said: “We have wasted a lot of money in Afghanistan.”
He said security and corruption were both big issues in the country. “We have problems with intense corruption in the Afghan military and police so a lot of the money we are spending never ends up in the hands of the soldiers or the police who need it.”
“We have documented cases where corrupt officials have stolen the fuel, sold it to the Taliban, stolen weapons we have provided, sold it to the bad guys. That’s the big issue we are facing.”
He said however that it was difficult to do oversight in a war zone but that President Ashraf Ghani and CEO Abdullah Abdullah “were trying to clean house” in terms of ending corruption. He also said he was “cautiously optimistic” that these efforts would pay off.
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