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Inspector: U.S. Reconstruction in Afghanistan Marred by Chronic Corruption

A U.S. inspector general overseeing U.S. reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan said the effort is plagued by poor planning, wasteful spending, and chronic corruption.

The criticisms by John Sopko are the latest from his agency, which is known by its acronym SIGAR and which is charged with monitoring U.S. government spending in Afghanistan.

In a speech given at a university in Rhode Island on November 18, Sopko said rebuilding efforts had been repeatedly hampered by a litany of "persistent challenges.”

"Corruption undermines every single endeavor we undertake in Afghanistan," he said.

"If Afghanistan is ever to prosper on its own, and if any of the gains we have fostered are to last, corruption must be addressed in a meaningful way,” he said.

Earlier this month, SIGA said the U.S. military used $43 million of taxpayer dollars for a natural-gas station in northern Afghanistan that should have cost just $500,000.