For nearly the full eight years of the George W. Bush presidency, liberals in the media and Congress harped incessantly on the president’s costly and manufactured wars in the Middle East and his passion for nation-building. We are now in the fifth year of the presidency of Bush’s successor, and you have to wonder how the change in policy is working out for the left.
If the latest oversight report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) is any indication, Obama’s supporters can’t be all that thrilled. As the Washington Free Beacon notes, citing the report:
The U.S. government has given the embattled Afghan National Army (ANA) more than $1 billion in taxpayer-funded ammunition….
This is in addition to $288 million that has been spent on ammunition for the troubled Afghan National Police (ANP), which has been cited by SIGAR for its widespread corruption.
So far, the U.S. has spent more than $54 billion in total to arm, train, and sustain Afghanistan’s security forces in Obama’s “war of necessity.” In spite of this outlay of cash, the Afghan forces continue to underperform and suffer low enlistment rates. It is unclear, furthermore, exactly how much ammunition the $1.03 billion has bought and/or used.
The Free Beacon adds that a considerable sum of taxpayer money has been squandered on vehicles that either don’t work or that have been damaged beyond repair.
The article quotes SIGAR lead inspector John Sopko, who said in May:
We are very concerned because the ANSF [Afghan National Security Forces] were supposed to achieve an end-strength of 352 thousand troops by last October.
The ANSF has fallen short of its staffing goals by 20,000 troops. The number of troops ready for duty is even lower when you consider AWOL employees, desertions, and ghost employees.
Sopko also claimed that the White House tried to silence him. (What else is new?)
Over the last 10 months, I have been criticized by some bureaucrats for not pre-clearing my press releases with them, for not letting them edit the titles of my audits, for talking too much to Congress, for talking too much to the press, and, basically, for not being a ‘team player’ and undermining ‘our country’s mission in Afghanistan.