Today’s reminder that there’s a difference between national defense and nation building- One is necessary to keep our nation safe;The other is an opportunity for connected contractors to get rich:A gas station in Afghanistan sponsored by the US government cost tens of millions in tax dollars to construct, but so far the federal government is refusing to say why.
A federal watchdog report showed the natural gas filling station totaled a whopping $43 million to build, a rate far exceeding a similar Pakistani project that cost just $500,000, or about $306,000 at current exchange rates, The Washington Post reports.
Overhead costs along for the project in Afghanistan’s came in at $30 million, a figure that remains unaccountable because of an uncooperative federal agency, according to John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.
The DOD allegedly can’t account for the expenditures because no one associated with the program is with the Department any longer. It’s almost conceivable that the project managers received some sort of multimillion dollar windfall and cashed out.
Nearly 10,000 troops still remain in Afghanistan, which has been described as “fragile” by President Obama, who noted recently that the Taliban has made gains. Stories like this should leave Americans wondering how much money we’ve wasted on similar projects that could have been spent better protecting those who choose to serve and protect us.