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U.S. Inspector Slams Afghan Army Fuel Program

A joint U.S.-Afghan convoy in in Nangarhar Province, Afghanistan in March 2012
A U.S. government report has suggested that a $1.1 billion program to provide fuel to the Afghan National Army is in need of "immediate attention."

The report comes just four months before control of the program is to be handed over to the Afghan government.

Released on September 10 by Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction John Sopko, the report says there is no evidence that the fuel provided under the program has been used for military purposes.

It says it is impossible to tell how much fuel might have been lost, stolen, or handed over to the Afghan insurgency.

The report says records covering $475 million in fuel payments were deliberately shredded over a four-year period.

Sopko, appointed recently by President Barack Obama to the special inspector general's job on Afghanistan, reportedly told Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in a letter on September 10 that the SIGAR was investigating the reported shredding by officials of the Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan.

It recommends suspending the program until it can be determined how many vehicles the Afghan Army has.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters