Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Dangerous White House Myopia in Afghanistan

I want give me your money and stuff

722M for aircraft the Afghan Army cannot operate and money flowing to Al-Qaeda  because it would be a violation of "due process rights" if we turned off the tap.  We have no direction, vision or outcome plan in Afghanistan, and this is a result.  Wasted taxpayer money and a propping up of our enemies.

Good job Obama.

From FOXNews August 5 by Judson Berger

Army won’t suspend contracts with Al Qaeda-tied companies, citing 'due process rights'

The U.S. Army is refusing to suspend contracts with dozens of companies and individuals tied to Al Qaeda and other extremist groups out of concern for their "due process rights," despite repeated pleas from the chief watchdog for Afghanistan reconstruction.

In a scathing passage of his latest report to Congress, Special Inspector General John Sopko said his office has urged the Army to suspend or debar 43 contractors over concerns about ties to the Afghanistan insurgency, "including supporters of the Taliban, the Haqqani network and al Qaeda."

Sopko wrote that the Army "rejected" every single case.

"The Army Suspension and Debarment Office appears to believe that suspension or debarment of these individuals and companies would be a violation of their due process rights if based on classified information or if based on findings by the Department of Commerce," Sopko said, summing up the Army's position.

The Army claims that Sopko's office did not provide enough evidence to support its claims.

"The Army Procurement Fraud Branch did receive and review the 43 recommendations late last year, but the report did not include enough supporting evidence to initiate suspension and debarment proceedings under Federal Acquisition Regulations," an Army spokesman said in a written statement.
The Army further explained that it can't debar a contractor unless a "preponderance of the evidence" shows serious misconduct, and that the evidence the IG provided would not pass that test. However, the Army said it has already told the office it "stands ready to re-examine the 43 cases if all relevant unclassified and/or classified information is provided." 

The IG report was released last week, shortly before the U.S. government issued a global travel alert to Americans and shuttered nearly two-dozen embassies over the weekend out of concern over a possible Al Qaeda-driven plot.

The inspector general report covered everything from contractors to security to economic development. But it reserved some of its most pointed language for the Army's refusal to cut ties with companies tied to the insurgency -- calling the position "legally wrong" and "contrary" to good policy and national security goals.

And with all that comes all this...

From FOXNews August 5

Watchdog: US spending $772M on aircraft Afghans 'cannot operate or maintain'

The chief watchdog for Afghanistan reconstruction warned in a recent audit that the Pentagon is moving forward with a $772 million purchase of aircraft that the Afghan army "cannot operate or maintain."

The latest quarterly report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction cited the aircraft purchases among its top concerns. The IG's office had earlier issued a report in June detailing how "the Afghans lack the capacity -- in both personnel numbers and expertise -- to operate and maintain" existing and planned fleets.

The findings are likely to contribute to the budget debate on Capitol Hill over the funding. The bulk of the purchase is a $554 million contract for 30 Mi-17 helicopters from Russian firm Rosoboronexport.

Senators already are trying to strip funding for those contracts, out of concern for the company's ties to the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Before Congress went on recess, a Senate budget panel signed off on a spending bill that guts funding for the Mi-17 choppers.

The IG audit cited a different set of concerns -- that the Afghan unit responsible for the aircraft has just one quarter of the personnel it needs to be at "full strength," that recruiting and training challenges inhibit growth; that the Afghan Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Interior have no agreement on the "command and control" of the unit; and that few of the pilots in the unit are fully qualified to fly with night vision goggles.

Your tax dollars at work.  Read it all.

No comments: