U.S. taxpayers, through the Pentagon, have bought $12.1 million of screening equipment for the Afghans to use at their border checkpoints. Most of that equipment -- $9.5 million of it -- sits idle, unused, representing waste and lax security. This is the upshot of a new report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR).
Earlier this year, the inspector general's office went to the five locations with this screening equipment (called Non-Intrusive Inspection equipment). Only at one location -- Kabul airport -- was any of the U.S.-bought screening equipment even being used. "None of the equipment, valued at $9.48 million, at any of the other locations was operational."
Why? Afghan officials said they had never been trained how to troubleshoot or maintain the equipment. Sure enough, SIGAR found "the equipment became inoperable nearly as soon as BMTF mentors left the border locations and the equipment was turned over to the Afghan government."
This is a waste of more than $9.5 million, though, because we had also spent about $10 million on maintenance and $37 million on "operation and training," according to SIGAR.