Photo by Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images.
A government report released Monday slams a U.S.-led effort to spend millions on construction projects in Afghanistan as a way to undercut the Taliban's hold on the region. Turns out, the projects are so far behind schedule that they won't start benefiting the country until most U.S. troops have left, and the Afghanistan government won't have the funds or skill to deal with their upkeep, according to the report.
The Washington Post reports that the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction warns that the current state of construction could be "counterproductive," adding, "If goals are set and not achieved, both the U.S. and Afghan governments can lose the populace’s support."
As if that wasn't bad enough, the report also found that Afghan police have abandoned or repurposed many border police bases built by the U.S., due in part to their subpar construction. The Wall Street Journal explains:
Leaking fuel lines on generators created fire hazards; drainpipes weren't installed, causing water damage; and poorly installed doors wouldn't close. In one case, a well house at the Lal Por 1 base was being used as a chicken coop, 'increasing the risk of sanitation and health issues,' the report states.
As the Journal notes, the U.S. has appropriated nearly $90 billion for Afghanistan's reconstruction since 2001. The construction projects are one of the key tools in the military's attempt to create stability and win over the country's citizens against the Taliban.