By Adam Andrzejewski for RealClearPolicy
In 2014, the U.S. moved the embassy security forces in Kabul, Afghanistan closer to the embassy for security reasons.
While the request was reasonable enough, an Office of Inspector General report found that the U.S. State Department paid a contractor $103 million for a project “without any discernible benefit to the Department or the people it intended to protect.”
When security conditions deteriorated in 2014 in Afghanistan, State Department officials were worried about threats to the movements of the Kabul Embassy Security Force.
To build a new base for them closer to the U.S. Embassy, the State Department contracted Aegis to build the facility for $173.2 million.
Almost immediately, the contract was plagued by delays and cost overruns, which the Department took no action to correct or speed up, according to the OIG report. Despite the anticipated project deadline of 2016, so little work was done by 2017 that the contract was terminated.
In reviewing this project, the OIG found that decision makers often panicked and made poor decisions in a frenzy, leading to them ignoring cost considerations and failing to negotiate better deals. This resulted in spending $103 million on a project that was left hanging.
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While decisions to secure an embassy amidst political and military turmoil in a hostile country will naturally lead to some mistakes, there is no reason the State Department shouldn’t have more safeguards and resources to make sure that officials are making wise decisions with your tax dollars.
Syndicated with permission from Real Clear Wire.
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