Six Years and $17 Billion Wasted in Afghanistan

What did you get for Christmas these last six years?

The U.S. government was nice enough to gift our loyal friends the Afghans $17 billion of your tax money, and, in the true spirit of giving, asked nothing in return for itself.

What that means in actual dollars and nonsense is that the U.S. government wasted $17 billion in taxpayer money in Afghanistan on various projects that never made it off the ground or were doomed to fail because of incompetence or lack of maintenance, according to a new report.

ProPublica looked at over 200 audits conducted by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) over the last six years and tallied up the costs for the wide range of failed efforts to reach the $17 billion price tag. This greatest hits study only scratched the surface of the estimated $110 billion spent to rebuild the country (the U.S. spent some $47 billion in rebuilding Iraq, and how’d that work out?)

The new study touches on only the most egregious examples of waste, including:

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