The United States is giving Afghan security forces $1.4 billion to buy gasoline through 2018 despite evidence that some of the money has been siphoned off in the face of a continuing high risk of fraud and waste.
That's one of the core findings of a new report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), which Congress created in 2008 to help track the nearly $100 billion the United States has spent on rebuilding the war-torn country in South Asia.
"Poor oversight and documentation of blanket purchase agreements and fuel purchases resulted in the use of higher-priced vendors and questionable costs to the U.S. government," SIGAR found in a report released Wednesday.
Questions about the gas money come as the United States is switching from buying the fuel and delivering it to the Afghan Army and the Afghan National Police to a system of making direct payments to those forces.
The gas funds have gone through the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan, which trains Afghan military and other security forces from its headquarters at Camp Eggers in Kabul.
The joint command is headed by U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Kenneth E. Tovo, who also oversees NATO training of Afghan forces. Under Tovo's command are other U.S. officers along with senior military leaders from Britain, Canada and Poland.