The future of warfare, led by America and the West, is fueled by unaccountable corporations:
At least one in every six dollars of U.S. spending for contracts and grants in Iraq and Afghanistan over the past decade, or more than $30 billion, has been wasted. And at least that much could again turn into waste if the host governments are unable or unwilling to sustain U.S.-funded projects after our involvement ends.
Those sobering but conservative numbers are a key finding of the bipartisan Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan, which will submit its report to Congress on Wednesday. All eight commissioners agree that major changes in law and policy are needed to avoid confusion and waste in the next contingency, whether it involves armed struggle overseas or response to disasters at home.
Tens of billions of taxpayer dollars have been wasted through poor planning, vague and shifting requirements, inadequate competition, substandard contract management and oversight, lax accountability, weak interagency coordination, and subpar performance or outright misconduct by some contractors and federal employees. Both government and contractors need to do better.
Our final report shows that the costs of contracting waste and fraud extend beyond the disservice to taxpayers. The costs include damage to the support for U.S. military, diplomatic and development efforts; fostering corruption in host countries; and undermining U.S. standing and influence overseas.
The contractor workforce in Iraq and Afghanistan has at times exceeded 260,000 people and has sometimes outnumbered U.S. military forces in theater. The roughly 1-to-1 ratio sustained over the years reflects a basic operating truth that Defense Department officials expressed in testimony to the commission: The United States cannot conduct large or prolonged military operations without contractor support.
Of course, the corrupt Afghan government, our little baby, just wants more money to waste:
Afghanistan has only received $57 billion out of $69 billion committed by the International Community to the country, Afghan finance minister said on Saturday.
Finance Minister Omar Zakhilwal told a news conference that only 18 percent of the whole $57 billion that has been flowed into Afghanistan as part of international community’s grant to the country has been spent through the government budget.
And the remaining 82 percent of the funding aid has been spent by the international community itself, he added.