Afghan Ammo Dump

Report: U.S. spends $288 million on ammo for Afghan National Police

Afghan National Police / AP
April 2, 2013

The U.S. government has spent $288 million on ammunition for the troubled Afghan National Police (ANP), according to a detailed quarterly report issued by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR).

The United States also has spent more than $366 million on weapons for the ANP and intends to spend another $14.2 million arming the force, according to SIGAR’s report, which highlights a massive amount of waste and abuse in Afghanistan.

A total of $3.4 billion has been spent on equipment and transportation, including weapons, for the ANP, according to the report, which found that "most of these funds were used to purchase weapons and related equipment, vehicles, and communications equipment."

Taxpayer dollars continue to be wasted on the ANP, SIGAR found.

"SIGAR’s audit of ANP vehicle maintenance," for instance, "found that the United States spent $6.8 million over 17 months to maintain vehicles that had already been destroyed."

The United States is set to spend an additional $19.4 million on vehicles for the ANP, according to the report.

SIGAR also found that "a U.S.-funded Afghan Border Police Company headquarters was sitting largely unused," raising concerns "about the long-term usability and sustainability of an ANP provincial headquarters," according to the report.

The United States has also provided major funding to pay for ANP salaries.

The force is set to become 157,000 strong, according to projections, and "will require an estimated $628.1 million per year to fund salaries ($265.7 million), incentives ($224.2 million), and food ($138.2 million)," according to SIGAR.

The theft of fuel continues to be an ongoing problem for the United States in Afghanistan, according to the report. The United States has spent about $4.2 billion on fuel for the Afghan National Army.

"Fuel is ‘liquid gold’ in Afghanistan—easy to steal, easy to sell on the black market," SIGAR noted in its report. "Buyers of stolen fuel can be local gasoline stations, roadside vendors, U.S. contractors without access to military fuel depots, or Afghan insurgents."

"Whether gasoline, jet fuel, or diesel, fuel is readily transportable by truck, rail, or pipeline. Each mode has vulnerabilities to theft that SIGAR is trying to alleviate," SIGAR reported.

There are currently "24 open investigations concerning fuel" theft and misappropriation.

"Most of SIGAR’s criminal fuel investigations concern drivers, either Afghan or third country nationals, for contractors who have U.S. government or military contracts to deliver fuel to military bases," according to the repot. "Such prime-contractor drivers often ‘short; the fuel they deliver."

SIGAR has caught Afghans siphoning fuel from delivery trucks during covert surveillance operations and has sought to "obtain evidence against fuel-theft rings."

Lawmakers have been particularly concerned about approximately $1 billion in U.S. oil purchases for Afghanistan. It is believed that some of this oil could have been purchased from Iran, which would constitute a violation of U.S. sanctions.

The ANP, which oversees security across Afghanistan, has suffered from structural and training issues since it was formed after the Taliban’s fall in 2001.

Afghan security forces have been involved in multiple attacks on U.S. forces.

There were 12 such attacks in 2011 and 34 in the first half of 2012, according to the New America Foundation.

So-called "insider attacks," in which Afghan security forces kill Americans, have jumped over the years. Four U.S. soldiers were killed in such ambushes in September 2012. An ANP member opened fire on U.S. troops in early March, killing two Americans and two Afghan police officers.

SIGAR, which has continuously detailed massive amounts of fraud and waste in post-war Afghanistan, found taxpayer dollars continue to be wasted on projects meant to bolster the Afghan government and its security forces.

Congress has allocated $89 billion to rebuild Afghanistan in the years since the U.S. first entered the country, according to the report. This is "more than the United States has ever spent on the reconstruction of any other nation."

President Obama has requested nearly $10 billion more for reconstruction efforts in his fiscal year 2013 budget proposal.