Inspectors Discover U.S. Funded Building “Melting” Away Due To Shoddy Materials Just Months After Construction in Afghanistan

Melting Base1

I have previously written about the waste of billions of dollars by the government without any significant discipline of government officials. We have become accustomed to reports of unimaginable corruption and waste in Afghanistan from bags of money delivered to officials to constructing huge buildings immediately torn down to buying aircraft that cannot be used. Much like our useless campaign against poppy production where we continued to spend billions because no one had the courage to end or change the program. We now have another such example from Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko about a $500,000 facility that was built and just left to “melt away” within four months of being built. Of course, contractors and corrupt Afghan officials have made huge amounts of money from such waste. Billions have disappeared while our own science, educational, and infrastructure programs are being cut. The flow of U.S. money however has not ended. After a trillion dollars, our government is on course to spend billions more in the country.

The latest example of waste is the $456,669 Afghan Special Police Training Center’s dry fire range. Notably, within four months, the buildings are disintegrating because of the contractor’s use of defective construction methods and materials. However, the Defense Department has followed its past pattern and declined to hold the contractor responsible for what could be viewed as fraud or criminal neglect in the construction of the building.

Melting Base2The police training center’s dry fire range (DFR) was commissioned by the U.S. government but quickly fell apart after its completion in 2012. It was built under the supervision of the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) but actually built by the Afghan contractor, Qesmatullah Nasrat Construction (QNCC). QNCC reportedly used shoddy material that allowed water to become trapped between the walls and causing extensive structural failures. Likewise, while QNCC was supposed to use the standard building paper, gravel and asphalt on the roof, it simply used plastic sheeting before setting the concrete. Down spouts were left unconnected to drainage pipes and undersized, inferior bricks used made mostly of sand with little clay.

The most significant question however is not the fact that an Afghan contractor may have ripped off the United States (and its own countrymen). There is unfortunately nothing new in such a story. The question is again why nothing was done to hold either the contractor or the supervising CENTCOM officials accountable for this latest waste.

After years of outrage of billions in waste, it is clear that there is no serious pressure on U.S. officials to guarantee that over a trillion dollars is being spent appropriately. There is no report on the CENTCOM people overseeing this project being fired or severely disciplined, for example. It is just another half a million dollars poured into the cesspool of Afghan corruption. In the meantime, my kids sit in public school classes in Fairfax County with over 35 other kids because there is no money to hire teachers.

Source: Fox

55 thoughts on “Inspectors Discover U.S. Funded Building “Melting” Away Due To Shoddy Materials Just Months After Construction in Afghanistan”

  1. jonathanturley: “After a trillion dollars, our government is on course to spend billions more in the country.”

    Actually, it’ll be a few years until we reach a trillion dollars for Afghanistan.

    According to the CRS budget report at https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/RL33110.pdf , we’ve budgeted 743.7 billion for Afghanistan from FY01 to FY15 – 522.6 billion of that under Obama budgets (FY10-FY15). FY15 is 53.3 billion.

  2. So true that none can be trusted.

    Politicians respect consequences.

    They sell their favors to special interests, and they get away with it because the public is oblivious. But if the public becomes educated, and strongly rebukes politicians who work against their interests at the voting booth, it will send a message.

    Right now, we have become so jaded. The status quo is we are lied to, taken advantage of, and clearly the interests of the public don’t matter in the face of campaign contributions.

    We will continue to get what we put up with.

    But you’re right. The whole lame duck scenario, one who fears no consequences, is a difficult one.

  3. Karen S …said ….

    Politicians will do what the people demand they do.

    I am not convinced that “the people” they respond to are the general populace. They respond to vested interests in closeted groups, lobbyists, the institutionalized bureaucrats who advise them how best to increase the bureaucracy in order to make “governing” easier. I know of no one, not one single soul, who voted for our governor who expected more taxes…the entire stance was less taxes and less waste. I know not one single soul who wants to fork over the savings on fuels. Now, lo & behold, come a second term (governorships are term limited to 2 terms here) , and away we go again…none of them can be trusted.

  4. Aridog – there are a lot of RINOs out there who have completely forgotten the whole “small government, low taxes” foundation.

    You can’t trust any politician farther than you an throw them.

    Politicians will do what the people demand they do. If we keep bowing our head to higher taxes, that is what they will keep doing. Most have an insatiable hunger for more and more of our tax money.

    Obama et al adamantly opposed domestic oil production. The private sector developed anyway, and so did Canada. They were told they were naive to think increasing domestic supply would bring oil prices down. But . . . when domestic supply went up, OPEC refused to decrease their own output to keep the supply down, so oil prices have plummeted.

    So, even though Obama fought this, and is on record as saying he wanted gas prices to be high, he is benefitting from a popularity boost from the affordable gas that happened against his will.

    And what did he do, the second Americans had more money in their pockets? Announce tax hikes!

    It’s the same old story. The minute Americans save money, some politician starts rubbing his hands together with a scheme.

  5. “Deficient” = “Deficit” …. and I did not type that error, but there it is none-the-less. No wonder as the troglodyte that I am preferred WordPerfect 5.0.

  6. Paul C….read my Google Link…here we apparently add it to everything. Politicians, of any kind, just can’t leave anything alone, ever. The mindset is that there is a never ending supply of moar. And moar. And moar. Moar is always justified by noble works, that have long ago been paid for, however without transparency…or visible productivity either. Deficient reduction is always touted as victory, no mention of debt reduction…which for us in the USA will never be accomplished to any degree…and then we “ponder” why inflation occurs. Vanishing money is why, heaven forbid any Pol acknowledge that. I admit I am turning in to a sour cynical dolt … why can’t I just be happy to pay moar?! Some ghetto family with the rent due isn’t likely to have time to consider all the grand benefits of the grand plans of their betters.

  7. Aridog, I have seen a little of state politics in action. Basically the Godfather without the greasy hair. Bottom line, don’t give any politician a break. If you see one that’s down, hit him again. And I am not an angry person per se… just sayin’, as a means of, well… pest control…

  8. I periodically of late refer to “MDOT” which is the Michigan Department of Transportation. I have business experience with them during my sojourn in the private sector. All of it crazy, from engineering idiocy they demand to just trying to collect for work done. I could write a tome on the engineering aspect alone, but I doubt Professor Turley has sufficient band width for it….sometimes demanding steel works that even a first year apprentice welder or iron worker would know was nuts. MDOT can invent new reasons for needing moar money faster than any Washington Pol, with the least to show for it. Fact is MDOT’s creativity on needing moar & moar makes Obama and his minions seem like amateurs. Frankly, I’d rather Obama ran MDOT than the institutionalized folks there now.

    Never-the-less, the most egregious proposal now is still the 2.5 : 1 increase on fuels excise taxes…a plain and simple “grab” for the savings caused by lower fuel prices. That takes unabashed guts and rationalization….why of course, government is entitled to the windfall, everyone knows that! Because shut up.

  9. BTW, since the price of gas dropped significantly, expect every state to try to tack on additional taxes to gasoline.

  10. Here is a Google Link for some of the things now on the table and others passed surreptitiously…just to add insult to injury there’s a proposal to add a sales tax at the wholesale level…which hides the tax completely, just like the federal excise taxes.

    There must be some hallucinogenic in the water in Lansing here.

  11. Just to make my morning today, the local news has announced that our Republican governor, recently re-elected, also wants to increase our sales tax by 1%, from 6%…again, with fix the roads litany. A 2.5 : 1 jump in fuel excise taxes and now a 1% jump in sales tax to “fix our roads” by a department (MDOT) that is a notorious money pit and empire under to its own. Yes, he got rid of the idiotic VAT we had, but now seems to want to do a Bush41. We’ll all hear it in his State of the State speech tonight just before Obama’s SOTU following. The guy in west Detroit & east Dearborn seen running down the street screaming insanely and pulling out chunks of hair….uh, that may be me.

    Says he “needs” about $1.6 to 2.0 Billion extra now…I have an auditing and accounting background in government matters…let me at those books in Lansing and I’ll bet I can find his $2.0 Billion in other waste and sacred cows. Now re-elected, he seems afraid of those sacred cows once again and is succumbing to the most sacred of all…MDOT.

    I am really developing a ugly distaste for politicians of all ilks, colors, and persuasions. Is there are course in major universities like “Politics 101 & 102” where lying with a straight face is taught? Right now we have a Republican governor who is also an accountant, but apparently, suddenly, thinks we’ve all forgotten how to count and flunked 3rd grade math.

    1. Aridog – we usually add it to the gas tax. That is what it is for, highway and street repair.

  12. And, no, I’m not going to subject my beloved child to the factory clinic covered by my rotten Obamacare policy. I’m going to pay out of pocket to bring him to a good dentist, where he’ll start good habits and good memories.

    Just like I have to do just about every time I want to see a doctor. Pay out of pocket, in addition to paying almost $1,000 a month for health insurance that I now loathe, thanks to Obama, Pelosi, Rahm, et al.

    1. Karen S – my grandfather was a dentist (non-practicing [long story]) and I did not like him so I transferred those feelings to every dentist I had until he died. 🙂

  13. Speaking of frustrating government, that reminds me to make a nod to my daily obsession with Obamacare.

    Obamacare requires my insurance company to tack on an extra $10 to my monthly horrible premium to pay for dental insurance. Now, typically, if I wanted insurance, I would shop around for policies that I could afford, that covered any doctors I wanted, and had the benefits I desired.

    But oh no. The government decided it would make that choice for me.

    So I’m stuck with a pediatric dental plan, and literally CANNOT change it. And, surprise, surprise, not a single dental facility that has good ratings, and is actually accredited for pediatric dentistry, accepts it. What it DOES cover is the infamous clinic where there was a scandal because they don’t let parents go with their kids. They just strap them down on papoose boards to traumatize them for life against going to the dentist.

    So, basically, I might as well just burn $10 in the fireplace every month. I’m not allowed to vote with my dollars that the plan is substandard. And the coverage is substandard. (I rewrote those two sentences to make sure the adjectives can pass the filter.)

    It’s basically county medical care but I’m forced to buy it.

    I SOOOOOOOOOO cannot wait until the rest of the country gets stuck with this Obamacare headache. I don’t think we’d hear another word about how wonderful it is. Ever.

  14. Perhaps they should use shipping containers next time. They’re far cheaper and don’t deteriorate for years to come.

  15. Chip S … the argument you make is very long term, however, for most people it is the shorter term that matters…they’ll not likely make a long term comparison when the rent is due, so to speak. Good luck on any federal VAT replacing income tax…taxes have a characteristic of never going away. In my experience anyway…as I said, the VAT here was removed, but now it appears they want to grab some of that oil money…and if they succeed I’d not hold my breath waiting for an excise reduction when the gasoline prices increase again.

    Only revised tax scheme I’d accept (willingly) would be a 100% elimination of all federal taxes and creation of a new income flat tax (of the hockey stick type …a form of means testing for the low end of income earners) …e.g., a tax based upon productivity … short of that, I’d rather keep the devil I know. Remember, I am a former “fed”, even though military type, as well as uniform type, and I trust the feds as far as I can throw a grand piano left handed.

    Chances of my idea(s) ever reaching fruition is about the same as me finding a herd of unicorns in my back yard. Call me cynical & skeptical. That and “Dera” doggie would probably eat the unicorns….or make friends with them and eat everybody else who saunters by… 🙂

  16. Billions of American taxpayer money down the black hole of greed and graft. Why did we bother? We should’ve been in and out of that God forsaken country on a year or two. Some think that our presence is needed in every country that acts as hosts to terrorists, while the military budget keeps growing and the piddling amounts of money needed to take care of our own truly needy citizens shrinks. There isn’t a way for us to eradicate those who promote and act as terrorists. They are like ants, there are more of them than you can imagine underground.

  17. Never the less any and all “consumption taxes” are regressive by definition.

    People always say this, but it doesn’t really make sense. The argument is that the poor spend a higher share of their incomes than the non-poor do, but that ignores the fact that all that extra saving enables the non-poor to consume more later in life. On balance over one’s lifetime, if you consume less than your income you’re just leaving $$ to others, who’ll pay a consumption tax when they spend it.

    The biggest difference b/w a VAT and an income tax is simply that a VAT doesn’t give the federal gov’t the right to know every single aspect of your financial life. That’s why I strongly prefer a VAT that replaces an income tax, but not one that is simply added to the mix.

    Capital will still be taxed thru property taxes (and the corp. income tax, if that’s kept).

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