The Department of Defense spent $43 million on something in Afghanistan, but it wasn’t a new weapon technology, vehicle fleet, or building.
It was one gas station. One single, solitary gas station in the city of Sheberghan, something that should have cost closer to $500,000.
Fox News reports:
"It's fright-night at the Pentagon," John Sopko, special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction (SIGAR), told FoxNews.com, calling the spending "outrageous to the taxpayer."
At issue is spending by the Task Force for Stability and Business Operations, known as TFBSO or the Task Force, which ended in March 2015. But most alarming, according to Sopko, is the DOD's failure to answer questions about the $800 million program and its claim the Task Force's employees no longer work for the DOD.
"I have never in my lifetime seen the Department of Defense or any government agency clam up and claim they don't know anything about a program," said Sopko, a former federal prosecutor appointed by President Obama in 2012 to watch over spending in Afghanistan.
"Who's in charge? Why won't they talk?" he said. "We have received more allegations about this program than we have received about any other program in Afghanistan."
In a report released Monday, SIGAR detailed how TFBSO's Downstream Gas Utilization Project set out to build a compressed natural gas (CNG) filling station in the Afghan city of Sheberghan in 2011. The U.S. Geological Survey found in 2006 that northern Afghanistan is rich in natural gas reserves, and the Task Force sought to make the compressed natural gas commercially viable by constructing the facility -- and more broadly, helping to reduce the war-torn country's dependence on costly imported gas.
This is the kind of thing Senator Tom Coburn is talking about when he says there is $400 billion of “stupidity, duplication, waste, and fraud” in the federal government. And Senator Coburn discovered first-hand that no one in Washington is willing to tackle this massive waste of taxpayer money.
That’s why an Article V Convention of States is so crucial to the future of our country. A Convention of States can propose constitutional amendments that force the federal government to be fiscally responsible, averting the impending financial crisis and ensuring our money is used efficiently and productively.