Watchdog: U.S. Has Wasted $15 Billion in Afghanistan Since 2008

The official watchdog tasked with keeping track of U.S. government spending in Afghanistan believes over $15 billion has been wasted there in the past 11 years—and the real figure could be much higher. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) began adding up the total waste and fraud in the U.S. effort to rebuild the country in 2017. In its first report of the total amount of wastage, it estimated there has been $15.5 billion of wastage between SIGAR’s inception in 2008 and the end of 2017. Special Inspector General John Sopko describes that figure as “likely… only a portion of the total waste, fraud, abuse and failed efforts.” The report notes that billions spent on stabilization programs and efforts to stop illegal drug production have been largely ineffective. Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) called Afghanistan a “black hole” for taxpayers, adding: “The American people deserve a better understanding of where their money is going.”