Trump Admin Inherits Continued Insecurity, Corruption in Afghanistan

Washington Free Beacon | 1/12/2017 | Morgan Chalfant
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BY: Morgan Chalfant

Donald Trump will need to confront the continued instability and corruption in Afghanistan as well as a resilient Taliban insurgency that continues to challenge Afghan military and police forces, according to the special inspector for Afghanistan reconstruction.

John - Sopko - US - Government - Inspector

John Sopko, the U.S. government’s special inspector for Afghanistan reconstruction, offered a bleak assessment of the security situation and rebuilding efforts in the war-torn country on Wednesday during remarks at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, admitting that little has improved in Afghanistan over the past two years despite billions of dollars in investments from the United States.

The special inspector general unveiled a list of high-risk challenges facing the new administration in Afghanistan, including the capacity and capabilities of Afghan security forces, corruption, sustainability, on-budget assistance, counter-narcotics, contract management, general oversight, and planning and strategy.

Failure - Areas - Sopko - Wednesday - Reconstruction

Failure in any one of these eight areas, Sopko said Wednesday, could “fatally undermine the reconstruction mission in Afghanistan.”

The special inspector general identified corruption and poor leadership of the Afghan military and police forces as the root cause of the persisting insecurity in Afghanistan. He pointed to the tens of thousands of U.S. taxpayer-funded “ghost soldiers,” as well as evidence of Afghan forces selling U.S.-bought weapons and fuel for profit.

Afghan - Commanders - Paychecks - Ghost - Soldiers

“Afghan commanders often pocket the paychecks of ghost soldiers for whom the U.S. is paying the salary,” Sopko said. “The number of ghost soldiers is not insignificant. It likely reaches into the tens of thousands of soldiers and police.”

“[Corruption] is so bad that there is evidence that the Taliban have instructed their field commanders to simply purchase U.S.-supplied weapons, fuel, and ammunition from the Afghan government because it is both easier and less expensive for the insurgents to do so,” he continued.

Reports - Fuel - Frontlines - Afghanistan - Afghan

“There are reports that when fuel finally reaches the frontlines in Afghanistan, that some Afghan commanders...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Washington Free Beacon
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