Today, SIGAR released its April 2015 Quarterly Report to Congress.
The report notes:
–U.S. appropriations for Afghanistan reconstruction grew by $2.3 billion to nearly $109.8 billion, and of that amount $14.9 billion remains in the pipeline to be spent.
–The U.S. has provided $8.4 billion for counternarcotics efforts in Afghanistan, and the country is the global leader in illicit opium cultivation and production.
–Section 1 of the report focuses on the questionable Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) numbers, and recent reports that have highlighted how SIGAR has found no assurance that data supporting the numbers are accurate.
–ANSF numbers provide a basis for U.S. budgeting and planning, including planning the pace of U.S. and other Coalition forces’ drawdown from Afghanistan.
–Domestic revenues last year paid for only 33%, or $1.7 billion, of Afghanistan’s total budget expenditures of $5.2 billion, with donor contributions making up the difference.
–The U.S. government has largely lost the ability to monitor and assess Afghanistan’s customs-collections processes due to ongoing reductions in U.S. civilian and military personnel.
–The total annual cost for the ministries of Defense and Interior and the ANSF, at the current authorized force strength of 352,000, is $5.5 billion a year.
–As a result of a SIGAR investigation that uncovered corruption in the award of a nearly $1 billion US-funded, multi-year Afghan Ministry of Defense (MOD) fuel contract, SIGAR has developed a relationship with the new Afghan government that promises to create unique opportunities for SIGAR to help the Afghans fight corruption. The corruption centered on four contractors that had engaged in price-fixing, bid-rigging, and bribery increasing the contracts cost by more than $214 million.
–This quarter, women account for 1% of the ANSF. The goal to increase the number of women in the ANA by 10% was moved into a 10-year plan.
–DOD needs to ensure that the Resolute Support Mission has adequate resources to provide focused and aggressive oversight. Likewise, the State Department needs to ensure Embassy Kabul and USAID have the resources they need to do the same.
–A positive development occurred, as the majority of the 43 individuals and entities, identified as supporters of the insurgency, that SIGAR referred for suspension and debarment to the U.S. Army have been publicly listed so that these entities should be restricted from receiving U.S. funds.
–Special Inspector General John F. Sopko: “You can’t spend $104 billion dollars in such a small country and not have some success. But the question we’re really asking is ‘could we have done better? Could we have done more? Could we have had more success?’ And those are the issues we’re faced with.”
Full Quarterly Report: https://www.sigar.mil/pdf/quarterlyreports/2015-04-30qr.pdf
Quarterly Report by Section: https://www.sigar.mil/quarterlyreports/index.aspx?SSR=6