U.S. Funded Afghan Schools Remain Unoccupied Due To Shoddy Work By Contractors

SchooAFHThe United States continues to pour money into Afghanistan — and not just in those bags of cash that Hamid Karzai has insisted keep being delivered to his office. Billions have disappeared while hundreds of millions have been spent on dubious projects rife with corruption. This week we have an insight into just how shoddy this work is in Afghanistan. The U.S. Agency for International Development paid Afghan firms $17.1 million to build 16 small schools. The contractors ripped off the U.S. and built one school that still cannot occupied due to structural dangers.


The Mazar-e-Sharif school in the northern Afghanistan region of Balkh is brand new and declared structurally unsafe. This is a small school that has now been five years in construction. The building was constructed without air conditioning so it cannot be occupied in the hot Afghan summers. It has leaks around the building, crossing sewer lines and an incomplete electrical system. that has numerous deficiencies, the report said. The architecture is so poor that a second floor terrace slopes into a classroom, causing floods whenever it rains, according to the report. The report said critical structural calculations were missing during the audit, which was called “a significant oversight” given the chances of a roof caving in or collapse of the septic tank system.

What is interesting is that the U.S. went to that other cesspool of corruption, Iraq, to recruit a company to build in Afghanistan. The Iraqi company proceeded to rack up 62 deficiency notices for poor work and left schools uninhabitable.

We are now looking for new contractors to pay to repair the new unoccupied buildings. I suppose that is still better than the buildings constructed by the U.S. military that are slated to be torn down as soon as they are completed or planes purchased only to be sent to scrapyards.

The terrible aspect of this story is that I much prefer building schools than given Karzai and his corrupt family more bags of cash or buying aircraft from Italian companies that will never be used. I am particularly eager to see schools for women and girls in an area where they continue to be denied basic opportunities and education. Yet, the waste and corruption in both Iraq and Afghanistan has continued due to little accountability of U.S. officials funneling this money into the hands of these politicians and contractors. We are fueling the corruption while tapping U.S. taxpayers for billions that are badly needed at home.

18 thoughts on “U.S. Funded Afghan Schools Remain Unoccupied Due To Shoddy Work By Contractors

  1. I hope the next President makes it a priority to do some house cleaning and get us out of there. I’m tired of borrowing money from China to pay for stuff like this, leaving our children and grandchildren stuck with the bill with interest accumulating.

  2. How about those faulty showers that electrocuted soldiers in Iraq that were built by American contractor KBR. As an example, ‘Army investigators have since reclassified Maseth’s death as negligent homicide caused by KBR and two of its supervisors.’

    What’s most disturbing is that most in Congress, especially Republicans, ignore the massive wasted trillions of dollars in war manger money, but they instead focus on cutting food stamps to hungry American kids, ending unemployment benefits for families that lost jobs due to Congress supported job outsourcing, slashing Social Security benefits to the poor and elderly, and ignoring homeless veterans (between 130,000 and 200,000 veterans are homeless on any given night—representing between one fourth and one-fifth of all homeless people.)

    The corporate executive can commit no crime to large to punish with jail time, but grab some warm socks from Walmart and serve hard time.

    I firmly believe that America is now a country of, for and by the corporation (take a look at TPP for instance).

    Defense sends pallets of money to corrupt leaders in war areas, but Congress cuts needed funds for struggling and desperate Americans.

  3. I’m totally baffled about why so much money is shoveled into military hands and military projects without accountability. Is it because they control the weapons?

  4. Jamie Dimon wrote: “What’s most disturbing is that most in Congress, especially Republicans, ignore the massive wasted trillions of dollars in war manger money, but they instead focus on cutting food stamps to hungry American kids, ending unemployment benefits for families that lost jobs due to Congress supported job outsourcing, slashing Social Security benefits to the poor and elderly, and ignoring homeless veterans (between 130,000 and 200,000 veterans are homeless on any given night—representing between one fourth and one-fifth of all homeless people.)”

    I am a Republican who does not ignore the wasted spending in war. The problem is that the wasted spending also happens in these other programs you mention, and these are programs that many Republicans do not think government should be involved with at all.

  5. Contractors that failed to provide goods or services as promised or provided shoddy or dangerous goods should be named, prosecuted and prohibited form receiving any further contracts either directly or indirectly. This should apply to foreign contractors an US contractors. CEOs of American should be prosecuted personally and if found guilty jailed.

  6. Just a few more pallet loads of $100 bills should turn things around once Karzai gives us the Green Light to shovel the money into his coffers.

  7. I don’t get. In the ‘regular’ world, you don’t do the job you were paid to do you get a refund but for some reason these guys always seem to get to keep their ill gotten gains and then the taxpayers have to shovel out even more money (and this is equally true for the company that screwed up the roll up of Obamacare with their horrendous website)

  8. I wonder if the bin laden construction company got the winning bid….. Or if haliburton is still making Cheney rich…..

  9. leejcaroll, Bingo! There is little, if any accountability, in government. Kathleen Sebelius would have been fired if she was managing a 7-11.

  10. For his whole life Ike could not talk about anything of consequence with any sort of insight. Then, the day he leaves office he warns America about the Military Industrial Complex. None dared listen.

  11. David,
    the waste in the “other” programs are a drop in the bucket compared to the waste in the Defense department budget. These contractors need to be ferreted out and made to fix the problems or refund the public monies or prosecuted for fraud.

  12. Anonymously Yours

    I wonder if the bin laden construction company got the winning bid….. Or if haliburton is still making Cheney rich…..
    ===================
    Good point. It could happen.

  13. David,

    Have you ever heard of price Waterhouse accounting……. How many combined military bases are under the direction of the bureau of prisons…. Then factor in the unrequited CIA budget….. Homeland security now is responsible for the cost of the coast guard….. The list could go on and on…. Sku the number anyway you want….. Reality is not something you address …..

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