CHART: How Taxpayer Dollars Were Wasted on Afghanistan’s Electrical Grid


One important part of the US reconstruction effort in Afghanistan is beefing up the country’s power grid, run by the state-owned utilities company, Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat. As of July 2012, only a third of Afghanistan had access to regular power, and a former UN advisor for Afghanistan told NPR that “energy remains a huge constraint for development of the country.” 

The United States is pouring tens of millions of dollars into the country to help the country commercialize its electricity, but a portion of that money is being squandered. A new report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), released on Tuesday, shows that expensive electrical equipment purchased by the Pentagon is sitting unused in a warehouse near Kandahar. SIGAR also found that USAID paid a contractor $5.76 million contractor for a contract that was never completed.

SIGAR John F. Sopko wrote that both of these issues “warrant immediate attention.” Here’s the breakdown of the numbers: 

 

 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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