The Department of Defense is not having a good week. And a major reason why is because they do not know how exactly $702 million was spent in Afghanistan.
The money’s original purpose was to go toward ammunition for the Combined Security Transition Command. This group helps train and equip Afghan security forces. However, the Command says it can not be sure that the money ended up supporting actual requirements, or that the use of it was given for its intentional purpose.
The likely cause for the confusion on this matter is a huge lack of oversight on the spending of the $702 million. “Without consistent, timely, and accurate reporting from the ministries, (Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan) cannot account for all ammunition consumed by the (Afghan National Defense and Security Forces),” said a report released last week.
The money was spent between the fiscal years of 2015 and 2016. However, officials report that limitations on security and understaffing have made it difficult to perform inspections, which would validate the ammunition reports.
The report also outlines recommendations of how to help remedy the issue, including defining responsibilities for all personnel overseeing the purchases, and various ways of evaluating compliance with reporting.
However, a separate report from the United Nations Security Council came out last year, stating that “significant quantities of arms and ammunition from Afghan military stockpiles in fact remained unaccounted for.”
According to the Military Times, the U.S. has already spent over $70 billion on Afghan forces alone since 2002.