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SIGAR chief flays U.S. policy of support warlords in Afghanistan

16 Jan 2020 Salam Watandar

SIGAR chief flays U.S. policy of support warlords in Afghanistan

MONITORING (SW) – The United States undermined its own goals in Afghanistan by supporting warlords and fostering corruption, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko said on Wednesday.

"Unchecked corruption in Afghanistan undermined US strategic goals, and we helped to foster that corruption," Sopko said during testimony to the US House Foreign Affairs Committee. According to a report by Sputnik, Spoko complained that Washington helped the Taliban's resurgence by "forming alliances of convenience" with Afghan's warlords who had been pushed out of power by the Taliban.

"The coalition paid warlords to provide security and, in many cases, to run provincial and district administrations, on the assumption that the United States would eventually hold those warlords to account when they committed acts of corruption or brutality. That accounting rarely took place," he said.

Sopko said the problem lies in US confidence that unlimited financing can solve problems by itself.

"The US government's persistent belief that throwing more money at a problem automatically leads to better results created a feedback loop in which the success of reconstruction efforts was measured by the amount of money spent, which in turn created requests for more money," he added.

Sopko also said development should be done by development specialists and not diplomats and the military.

Since 2002, the United States has spent more than $110 billion on Afghan reconstruction projects, a high percentage of which was wasted on corruption, waste and abuse, according to several SIGAR audits.



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