With the imminent arrival of a new administration and Congress in the U.S, which will inherit a 15-year, $115 billion USD investment in Afghanistan, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan (SIGAR) has rendered a High-Risk List.
SIGAR states the list outlines critical areas threatening reconstruction in Afghanistan and is for the new administration and Congress to consider when crafting policies.
The report stated the “price has been high”.
It said since 2001, 2,247 U.S military personnel have died and more than 20,000 have been wounded in Afghanistan. Adjusted for inflation, the U.S has spent more on Afghanistan’s reconstruction than it did on the Marshall Plan to rebuild Western Europe after World War II and that reconstructing Afghanistan has been the largest expenditure to rebuild a single country in our nation’s history.
The report also stated that reconstruction challenges remain and that the Afghan security forces are not yet capable of providing security for the whole country.
It said the Afghan government cannot sustain many of the investments that the U.S has made and that despite a U.S investment of $8.5 billion USD in counter-narcotics, Afghan opium production is at an all-time high.
“Despite a $70 billion U.S investment in the Afghan security forces, only 63 percent of the country’s districts are under Afghan government control or influence. Corruption has the eroded legitimacy of the Afghan government, limiting its effectiveness and bolstering support for the opposing insurgency.
After 15 years, Afghanistan still cannot support itself financially or functionally. Long-term financial assistance is required if the country is to survive,” the report stated.
It also said: “The ANDSF has not yet been capable of securing all of Afghanistan and has lost territory to the insurgency. As of August 28, 2016, USFOR-A reported that only 63.4 percent of the country’s districts were under Afghan government control or influence, a reduction from the 72 percent as of November 27, 2015. Capability gaps in key areas such as intelligence, aviation, and logistics are improving, but still hinder effectiveness.”
SIGAR identified eight high-risk areas that addresses systemic problems facing U.S-funded reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan. Thee high-risk areas include Afghan Security Forces Capacity and Capabilities; Corruption; Sustainability; On-budget support; counter-narcotics; contract management; oversight and planning and strategy.