[Ed. – It’s hard to emphasize adequately how surreal this is. Remember a report from August 2016 that seemed to depict a (literally) impossible amount of budgetary shenanigans in the Army? I found that disquieting at the time, wondering what the Obama administration was laying the groundwork to hang around the Army’s neck. With this new IG report that we’re paying for tens of thousands of troops who don’t actually exist, I really wonder what we’re going to find out Obama has been doing with the money in the Defense budget for the last seven-some years. Just keep in mind, no matter what you hear: the people at fault are Obama’s cronies, not your uniformed service members or career civil servants.]
Up to half of the tens of thousands of U.S.-funded Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) troops deployed to combat terrorism in southern Afghanistan’s volatile Helmand province “do not exist,” notes a U.S. watchdog agency appointed by Congress, citing the province’s police chief.
Nevertheless, all Afghan security forces are getting paid with U.S. taxpayer funds, including the nonexistent ones.
In an August 5 letter addressed to the U.S. Secretary of Defense and published on Friday, which marked the 15th year of the Afghanistan war, the U.S. Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), the watchdog, highlighted the problems of “ghost” service members within the ANDSF.
Overall, the letter suggested that of the 319,595 members of the ANDSF, which includes police and army units, nearly 200,000 do not exist.