I-Team investigates Afghanistan waste

Published: Wednesday, May 07, 2014 @ 5:45 PM
Updated: Wednesday, May 07, 2014 @ 5:45 PM


            A school building that has been funded by the U.S. is shown. It has been built so poorly that the bricks are literally melting.
            U.S. Government / Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction
A school building that has been funded by the U.S. is shown. It has been built so poorly that the bricks are literally melting.(U.S. Government / Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction)

Hospitals with no running water, schools with melting walls...billions of dollars wasted in Afghanistan according to government auditors.

It is enough money to build a high speed rail system between Los Angelos and San Francisco, build 500 new schools, and still have billions of dollars left for roads, bridges and highways.

"This is more money than we have spent on any other single country in the history of the United States," said John Sopko, Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction. 

Sopko said it adds up to more than one hundred billion dollars and counting that the U.S. has spent on buildings and infrastructure in Afghanistan.

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown said the mission is important. 

"If we make a commitment to that country a war effort to that country and we don't want terrorism to grow there again you invest like that," said Brown. 

However, Sopko said his office has found problems time and time again like the half a billion dollars spent on C-27 aircraft. He said the plans cannot fly in Afghan altitude so they just sit and rust and now can't even be flown out of Afghanistan. 

"Basically, these plane were flying coffins," said Sopko. "Total waste of money." 

Then there's the Salang Hospital. Inspectors found newborns being bathed with river water because there is no running water or electricity. 

Sopko also told us about school buildings and prisons built so poorly, that the bricks can be taken apart with a spoon. 

"When you contract out so much of what used to be the military with private contractors and private interests, you end up with more fraud and more waste," Brown said. 

Spending won't end when our troops pull out later this year. The U.S government is committed to spending between 8 and 9 million dollars a year for years to come. 

Sopko said that's more than the combined amount the Federal Government spends for researching cures for cancer, aids and Alzheimer's disease.

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