The Department of Defense and Drug Enforcement Administration collectively spent $86 million to fight drug crime in Afghanistan on a plane that cannot fly.
The Office of Inspector General for the Justice Department released a report Wednesday chronicling the boondoggle, which initially started as an $8 million project eight years ago.
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"In fiscal year 2008 the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) expended nearly $8.6 million to purchase an ATR 42-500 aircraft (ATR 500) to support its counternarcotics efforts in Afghanistan," the inspector general said. "The Department of Defense (DOD) agreed to modify the DEA’s ATR 500 with surveillance equipment and other capabilities to conduct such operations in the combat environment of Afghanistan in what became known as the Global Discovery program."
"Even though collectively the DEA and DOD have spent more than $86 million on the Global Discovery program, we found that, over seven years after the aircraft was purchased for the program, the aircraft remains inoperable, resting on jacks, and has never actually flown in Afghanistan," the inspector general said.
The Washington Post reported the Pentagon scrapped funding for the program in its fiscal year 2016 budget, but still has a contract to work on the plane until June.
The Pentagon "considered dumping the program" in 2014 after over $65 million had been spent. At the time, the plane was only worth $6 million.