Free Minds & Free Markets

The Shocking Waste Hidden Inside the $126 Billion Afghan Reconstruction: New at Reason

Taxpayers shelled out for everything from a $43 million gas station to a 'melting' practice range

Dhawa RezkynaDhawa Rezkyna"Congress has appropriated $126 billion for Afghanistan reconstruction since Fiscal Year 2002," wrote Special Inspector General John F. Sopko in testimony delivered in May to the Senate Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management. By 2014, he added, inflation-adjusted appropriations for that purpose "had already exceeded the total of U.S. aid committed to the Marshall Plan for rebuilding much of Europe after World War II."

So much money, spent so fast, inevitably generates many examples of projects poorly or wastefully executed. Afghanistan reconstruction is no exception, as the ongoing work of Sopko's office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) makes clear. Here are a few of the most head-smackingly absurd, writes Reason's Brian Doherty.

Photo Credit: Dhawa Rezkyna


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