CHART: How Taxpayer Dollars Were Wasted on Afghanistan’s Electrical Grid


One important part of the US reconstruction effort in Afghanistan is beefing up the country’s power grid, run by the state-owned utilities company, Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat. As of July 2012, only a third of Afghanistan had access to regular power, and a former UN advisor for Afghanistan told NPR that “energy remains a huge constraint for development of the country.” 

The United States is pouring tens of millions of dollars into the country to help the country commercialize its electricity, but a portion of that money is being squandered. A new report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), released on Tuesday, shows that expensive electrical equipment purchased by the Pentagon is sitting unused in a warehouse near Kandahar. SIGAR also found that USAID paid a contractor $5.76 million contractor for a contract that was never completed.

SIGAR John F. Sopko wrote that both of these issues “warrant immediate attention.” Here’s the breakdown of the numbers: 

 

 

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest