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banyon
07-24-2011, 07:02 AM
US Misspent $34B in Afghanistan, Iraq over 10 years, Panel Claims

Updated: Saturday, 23 Jul 2011, 12:07 PM CDT
Published : Saturday, 23 Jul 2011, 12:07 PM CDT

(Wall Street Journal) - WASHINGTON -- The US wasted or misspent $34 billion contracting for services in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a draft report by a bipartisan congressional panel, the most comprehensive effort so far to tally the overall cost of a decade of battlefield contracting in America's two big wars, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.

The three-year investigation came from the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, which was established by the US Congress in 2008.

Its final report, expected to be sent to Capitol Hill in the next few weeks, lays out in detail the failure of federal agencies to properly manage and oversee grants and contracts set to exceed a total of $206 billion by the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.

The draft report, which was viewed by the WSJ, identified myriad instances of projects that were poorly conceived.

They include a $300 million US Agency for International Development agricultural development project with a "burn rate" of $1 million a day that paid Afghan farmers to work in their own fields.

It flagged diversion of funds to insurgents, such as a subcontractor on a community development project in eastern Afghanistan paying 20 percent of their contract to insurgents for "protection." And it touched on cases where the host government was unable to sustain a US-funded project, like a costly water treatment plant in Nasiriya, Iraq, that produced murky water and lacked steady electric power.

Around 75 percent of the total contract dollars spent to support operations in Iraq and Afghanistan went to just 23 major contractors, but the federal work force assigned to oversee those contracts has not grown in parallel with the massive growth in wartime expenditures.

The report warned that the eventual withdrawal of US troops and assistance posed the risk of "massive new wastes of money," because both the governments of Iraq and Afghanistan may be poorly prepared to manage projects begun with US taxpayer funds.

http://www.myfoxmemphis.com/dpps/news/us-misspent-34b-in-afghanistan-iraq-over-10-years-panel-claims-dpgonc-20110723-bb_14263196

go bowe
07-24-2011, 09:19 AM
yep, it's a fucked up situation all right...

maybe contracting with private, for profit, companies wasn't such a good idea...

banyon
07-24-2011, 09:31 AM
No, privatization always saves money. At least that's what's on the bumper sticker...

Just like how Bush's private contractors on the prescription drug benefit saved us so much money...


Oh wait.

mlyonsd
07-24-2011, 09:33 AM
No, privatization always saves money. At least that's what's on the bumper sticker...

Just like how Bush's private contractors on the prescription drug benefit saved us so much money...


Oh wait.What's the other option?

petegz28
07-24-2011, 09:36 AM
So, $34bll misspent over 12 years? Not good. But still better than the trillions congress fucks off every year.

go bowe
07-24-2011, 09:37 AM
What's the other option?

hey now, it's sunday morning...

why you gotta go and ask the tough questions?

banyon
07-24-2011, 09:37 AM
What's the other option?

Have the US Army fight our own war?

mlyonsd
07-24-2011, 09:44 AM
Have the US Army fight our own war?Does that mean bring them home or have them do the work private contractors are doing?

banyon
07-24-2011, 09:53 AM
Does that mean bring them home or have them do the work private contractors are doing?

Well, I'm for bringing them home. But if they're not coming home, then yes, they would do the job we're getting bilked for by the private contractors more efficiently.

go bowe
07-24-2011, 09:58 AM
Does that mean bring them home or have them do the work private contractors are doing?

bringing them home sounds good to me...

but while they're in a combat zone and familiar with the locals and best of all, not operating on a profit motive, i'd rather have the troops who are trained for that sort of thing undertake what projects are necessary until hostilities have waned a bit...

mlyonsd
07-24-2011, 10:02 AM
Well, I'm for bringing them home. But if they're not coming home, then yes, they would do the job we're getting bilked for by the private contractors more efficiently.I'm not sure our troops doing all the work is physically or politically possible.

mlyonsd
07-24-2011, 10:03 AM
bringing them home sounds good to me...

but while they're in a combat zone and familiar with the locals and best of all, not operating on a profit motive, i'd rather have the troops who are trained for that sort of thing undertake what projects are necessary until hostilities have waned a bit...Hopefully the end game is in sight.

go bowe
07-24-2011, 10:26 AM
I'm not sure our troops doing all the work is physically or politically possible.

no, our troops trained in community affairs and the like would use local labor to build infrastucture and do good job of accounting for the funds used, just as they did in the early days of iraq...

mlyonsd
07-24-2011, 10:27 AM
no, our troops trained in community affairs and the like would use local labor to build infrastucture and do good job of accounting for the funds used, just as they did in the early days of iraq...I don't know for sure but I'm thinking that would take more troops. That's the part I don't think is feasible.

go bowe
07-24-2011, 10:28 AM
Hopefully the end game is in sight.

actually i don't know why the fuck they are still in iraq...

and i question whether we need to have 100,000 troops in afghanistan after 10 years...

hasn't afghanistan lasted longer than vietnam, ffs?

go bowe
07-24-2011, 10:36 AM
I don't know for sure but I'm thinking that would take more troops. That's the part I don't think is feasible.

i agree more troops is not feasible...

in the early days of the iraq occupation, we had local commanders overseeing projects, captains and majors that were already there as part of the combat operation...

we could have sent more engineers and community affairs specialists without a significant increase in troop levels or rotate some combat troops out as violence is brought under control to keep the levels from increasing very much...

i think afghanistan could have been better handled in that regard, but overall i think our efforts in iraq and afghanistan have been close to futile and enormously costly, which we can ill afford...

the mistakes which have been made by both the bush and the obama administrations in iraq and the stan have greatly contributed to our present difficulties...

2bikemike
07-24-2011, 10:49 AM
So, $34bll misspent over 12 years? Not good. But still better than the trillions congress ****s off every year.

While I abhor all the waste our Govt. perpetuates. I really and truly am shocked that this number isn't a lot higher. I would have figured they really screwed the pooch on this.

KCWolfman
07-24-2011, 11:25 AM
What's the other option?
Ask Greece and Ireland.

They fund their great social programs with no problem at all.... Providing they continue to receive funding from more Capitalistic nations like ours.

orange
07-24-2011, 01:21 PM
I'm not sure our troops doing all the work is physically or politically possible.

Certainly not without a politically unpalatable draft proposal that would have left the President's little war unfought.

RINGLEADER
07-24-2011, 01:38 PM
US Misspent $34B in Afghanistan, Iraq over 10 years, Panel Claims

Updated: Saturday, 23 Jul 2011, 12:07 PM CDT
Published : Saturday, 23 Jul 2011, 12:07 PM CDT

(Wall Street Journal) - WASHINGTON -- The US wasted or misspent $34 billion contracting for services in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a draft report by a bipartisan congressional panel, the most comprehensive effort so far to tally the overall cost of a decade of battlefield contracting in America's two big wars, The Wall Street Journal reported Saturday.

The three-year investigation came from the Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, which was established by the US Congress in 2008.

Its final report, expected to be sent to Capitol Hill in the next few weeks, lays out in detail the failure of federal agencies to properly manage and oversee grants and contracts set to exceed a total of $206 billion by the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.

The draft report, which was viewed by the WSJ, identified myriad instances of projects that were poorly conceived.

They include a $300 million US Agency for International Development agricultural development project with a "burn rate" of $1 million a day that paid Afghan farmers to work in their own fields.

It flagged diversion of funds to insurgents, such as a subcontractor on a community development project in eastern Afghanistan paying 20 percent of their contract to insurgents for "protection." And it touched on cases where the host government was unable to sustain a US-funded project, like a costly water treatment plant in Nasiriya, Iraq, that produced murky water and lacked steady electric power.

Around 75 percent of the total contract dollars spent to support operations in Iraq and Afghanistan went to just 23 major contractors, but the federal work force assigned to oversee those contracts has not grown in parallel with the massive growth in wartime expenditures.

The report warned that the eventual withdrawal of US troops and assistance posed the risk of "massive new wastes of money," because both the governments of Iraq and Afghanistan may be poorly prepared to manage projects begun with US taxpayer funds.

http://www.myfoxmemphis.com/dpps/news/us-misspent-34b-in-afghanistan-iraq-over-10-years-panel-claims-dpgonc-20110723-bb_14263196

Yet another example of how governments are terribly inefficient and should be smaller, not larger. Whether it is defense spending, entitlements, health care, or "stimulus" the government is horrible at managing money or finding the most efficient ways to use revenues. When you don't have to worry about running out of money there are fewer reasons to operate in less wasteful ways.

Of course most politicians on the left that would welcome this info are the same who don't want any critical analysis of entitlements or social welfare programs. And the GOP won't bat an eye at this kind of activity coming from the Pentagon. It's baked into their way of thinking now.

RINGLEADER
07-24-2011, 01:41 PM
Certainly not without a politically unpalatable draft proposal that would have left the President's little war unfought.

Do you mean Bush's wars in Afghanistan and Iraq or Obama's wars in Afghanistan and Libya?

orange
07-24-2011, 01:44 PM
Do you mean Bush's wars in Afghanistan and Iraq or Obama's wars in Afghanistan and Libya?

I meant Iraq, obviously.

BTW "Obama's war in Afghanistan?" LMAO That's funny on so many levels, it's frightening.

HonestChieffan
07-24-2011, 02:35 PM
Why are we still paying all this money

go bowe
07-24-2011, 02:36 PM
good question...

RINGLEADER
07-24-2011, 04:02 PM
I meant Iraq, obviously.

BTW "Obama's war in Afghanistan?" LMAO That's funny on so many levels, it's frightening.

It wasn't meant to be a dig. And not sure why you'd be frightened. Obama increased deployment by a magnitude that Bush wouldn't even consider - something he should be commended for despite anyone's opinions on how it should or shouldn't be fought.

banyon
07-24-2011, 04:27 PM
I'm not sure our troops doing all the work is physically or politically possible.

We didn't use mercenaries in previous wars to this extent. I'm not sure why the army isn't care of taking care of security arrangements, supplying troops, etc. They've always done it for the most part.

If you're not outraged by this stuff, you need to listen to a few minutes of Byron Dorgan from your neck of the woods in one of his hearings with former KBR contractors (Blackwater won't even appear).

http://c-spanvideo.org/program/Contractingin

It's pretty much outright fraud and theft from our Treasury.



Or these:

http://c-spanvideo.org/videoLibrary/search-results.php?keywords=dorgan+kbr

Or any of these scandals:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KBR_%28company%29#Controversy


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackwater_Worldwide#Litigation_over_actions_in_Iraq

banyon
07-24-2011, 04:29 PM
Yet another example of how governments are terribly inefficient and should be smaller, not larger. Whether it is defense spending, entitlements, health care, or "stimulus" the government is horrible at managing money or finding the most efficient ways to use revenues. When you don't have to worry about running out of money there are fewer reasons to operate in less wasteful ways.

w.

Actually, it's precisely the opposite, as most of this waste was channeled through private contractors.

Dallas Chief
07-24-2011, 07:05 PM
So. Some estimates put the total cost of the entire GWOT for the USA, including Iraq and Afghanistan, somewhere in the $4trillion range. It is so hard to find a concrete number because most of the sources I've been looking at, including wikipedia, are all over the map. Let's use the $4trillion for arguments sake because we all know it is probably much higher than that and I don't need it to be higher to make my point. That would put the $34B in estimated waste at less that 1% of the total cost of the wars.. I agree wholeheartedly that this amount of waste from our DoD is completely unacceptable, even though it is par for the course. My curiosity is this... What is the most wasteful government program we have from both a total wasted dollar figure and from a percentage of waste versus the total cost of the program. I truly do not know the answer to this, but if someone has a link to more bountiful info, it would be rep worthy. Just something to chew on before we run off expressing all of our faux outrage on people that are in harms way on a daily basis. Thanks for the OP banyon...

RINGLEADER
07-24-2011, 11:16 PM
Actually, it's precisely the opposite, as most of this waste was channeled through private contractors.

So who, exactly, channeled the waste?

Its final report, expected to be sent to Capitol Hill in the next few weeks, lays out in detail the failure of federal agencies to properly manage and oversee grants and contracts set to exceed a total of $206 billion by the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.

HonestChieffan
07-25-2011, 09:46 AM
So who, exactly, channeled the waste?

Its final report, expected to be sent to Capitol Hill in the next few weeks, lays out in detail the failure of federal agencies to properly manage and oversee grants and contracts set to exceed a total of $206 billion by the end of the fiscal year on Sept. 30.


Its a bit deeper than Private vs Govt....Obama has set it up to give the money to afgan contractors as opposed to contracts with US Civilian Contractors.

That seems like a great idea, no? I mean they and the government have been pillars of truth.

http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0711/59805.html


(Politico) — Millions of dollars in American taxpayer funds intended for an Afghan transportation contract to promote local businesses were steered to the enemy Taliban, according to a military investigation cited in Monday’s Washington Post.

The aid, part of a $2.16 billion trucking contract for eight firms operating in war-torn Afghanistan, provides “seemingly definitive evidence” that U.S. funds are being directed to the nation’s enemies, according to the Post.

For four of the eight contractors there is “documented, credible evidence . . . of involvement in a criminal enterprise or support for the enemy,” according to the Pentagon report. Six of the eight had “fraudulent paperwork and behavior,” the report said.

The Post story doesn’t indicate exactly how much of the $2.16 billion may have been redirected to the Taliban, but it suggests the figure is substantial. In one instance, $3.3 million of a $7.4 million payment to one of the eight companies was funneled through contractors and subcontractors before ending up in the account of an Afghan National Police commander, who then transferred the funds to insurgents to buy explosives and weapons.

The Pentagon in March extended the trucking contracts for another six months, the Post reported.

Unlike in Iraq, where U.S. companies received the bulk of the initial reconstruction contracts, the Obama administration created a program in Afghanistan in which locally-owned companies would do much of the work. The Post reported that 53 percent of more than 87,000 contract personnel employed by U.S. military in Afghanistan are locals.

Jaric
07-25-2011, 10:21 AM
While I abhor all the waste our Govt. perpetuates. I really and truly am shocked that this number isn't a lot higher. I would have figured they really screwed the pooch on this.

Sadly this. I'd have figured it was several times that amount.