Afghan government VIPs stuff your tax dollars into suitcases and fly the money out of the Kabul airport to parts unknown, possibly at the rate of about $10 million bucks a day. That’s one of the startling conclusions in the latest report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction released on Wednesday.
It says that the United States has pumped more than $70 billion into development projects in Afghanistan since 2002. A lot of that is converted to cash. But the United States has “limited visibility over U.S. cash that enters the economy — leaving it vulnerable to fraud and diversion to the insurgency.” In other words, Afghans are stealing our money or giving it to other Afghans who kill U.S. soldiers. Great.
It would help if Americans could monitor what the heck was going on at the Afghan central bank, but Afghan President Hamid Karzai has “barred U.S. government advisors” from going there.
And we are not allowed to look into the suitcases of government VIPs as they ship out cash at the airport, since the Afghan government lets VIP bypass the main security and customs screening area. Oh, and U.S. officials are barred from the VIP area.
In other good news, the report adds that the U.S. Treasury Department does alert the Afghan Attorney General about suspected financial crimes. But the Afghan Attorney General doesn’t do much with that information.