Coming on the heels of the 15th anniversary of the U.S. war on terror effort in Afghanistan was a devastating report from a watchdog Inspector General that revealed an incredibly dangerous oversight and waste of taxpayer money that could actually result in American lives being lost.
According to Breitbart, the Congress-appointed Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction recently released a letter sent to the secretary of defense that explained that roughly half of the U.S. taxpayer-funded Afghan National Defense and Security Forces troops deployed to the volatile Helmand province actually “do not exist.”
The letter revealed that these “ghost” soldiers and police officers still get paid, or at least someone has been receiving their salaries, yet because they don’t actually exist, they aren’t available for operations against the Taliban or other jihadist enemies, leaving allied forces shorthanded.
It is believed that roughly 26,000 military and security troops in the Taliban-infested Helmand province are “ghost” troops, according to the police chief of the province, who alerted the IG to the problem.
“There are around 10,000 police personnel in the structure of police force in Helmand plus 16,000 army soldiers along with public protection forces and border security forces. According to my information, 40 to 50 percent of the force did not exist physically when we asked for help during operations,” the chief explained.
“Salaries of ghost soldiers had been received during the past eight months and the money has gone to personal accounts,” he added.
The governor of Helmand has also looked into the problem, and has thus far discovered at least 400 non-existent troops who have since been removed from the list of salaried service members.
In other words, U.S. taxpayers have spent more than $70 billion to “recruit, train, equip, house, feed, supply, and pay the salaries” of Afghan troops, half of whom don’t even exist.
Unsurprisingly, an April 2015 report from the same IG detailed the inaccurate and unreliable data on security forces troops provided by the Afghans.
Also unsurprising was the lack of comment on this issue from the Pentagon or its refusal to either confirm or deny whether any American troops have been killed or injured due to their reliance on support from Afghan troops who never arrived because they aren’t real.
What makes this even more frightening is the fact that a significant number of the Afghan troops who do exist and have been trained, equipped and paid with U.S. dollars are actually Taliban members who have infiltratedthe Afghan national forces by the tens of thousands.
Thus, when our American military troops in Afghanistan call for support from local Afghan forces, they can never be sure if they will even show up, or if they do show up, if they are actually on the same side fighting the same enemy.
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