An independent Commission on Wartime Contracting, established by Congress in 2008 to examine U.S. spending on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, issued its final 240-page report this week disclosing that as much as $60 billion in taxpayer dollars has been lost to waste and fraud over the past decade due to lax oversight of contractors, poor planning and outright corruption.
This is just one more outrageous development for which former president George W. Bush can take the lion’s share of credit. His administration obviously had no idea what was happening to the trillions of taxpayer dollars literally thrown away on these two unnecessary wars.
This is money meant for military support contracts, private security companies, and reconstruction projects for the building of schools, medical clinics, barracks, roads and power plants, which is over and above the ordinary massive sums already dished out for military spending,.
Wasteful spending in Afghanistan alone chewed up as much as 20% of that total, while fraud amounted to as much as 9%, says the report, and the debacle is not over yet by a long shot since the waste and corruption will only grow as our support for these welfare reconstruction projects and programs slowly wanes.
Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., who co-sponsored legislation to establish the commission, admitted in a statement that: "it is disgusting to think that nearly a third of the billions and billions we spent on contracting was wasted or used for fraud."
The commission cited many examples of waste, including a $360 million agricultural development welfare program in Afghanistan, which began as a $60 million project in 2009 to distribute vouchers for wheat seed and fertilizer, but expanded to the point where spending ballooned to $1 million per day, creating a situation ripe for waste and abuse.
"Paying villagers for what they voluntarily used to do destroyed local initiatives and diverted project goods into
for resale," says the report. Pakistan
After the illegal drug trade, the Taliban’s second largest funding source is the diversion of money from U.S.-backed construction projects and transportation contracts, according to the commission. Typically the money is lost when insurgents and warlords threaten subcontractors with violence unless they pay for protection.
The problem is magnified by the fact that the administration bureaucrats grossly mismanaged the awarding of contracts in war zones to the point where they were clueless as to where huge sums of money were going. No responsible authority was overseeing and inspecting the massive spending, or monitoring the contracting, planning and coordination of these welfare programs.
So while the
is sliding slowly into bankruptcy and financial ruin, our enemies and criminals in the United States of America Middle East are enriching themselves and benefiting with new schools, hospitals, roads, and power plants, thanks largely to the stupidity of the American people and their deluded former president, George W. Bush.
No wonder our once great nation has become the laughing stock of the world.