SIGAR

Afghan War Waste Revealed: Coalition Lost $230 Million in Spare Parts

One year ago, ISAF learned it had lost track of more than $300 million in taxpayer funded vehicle parts for the Afghan army. Now, the inspector general let the public know. By Kevin Baron

U.S. military leaders in Afghanistan learned last year that the international command in charge of training the Afghan army lost $230 million worth of spare vehicle parts, and then ordered an extra $130 million in additional parts to backfill the loss.

But the public is only finding out about it now. The International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, Commander’s Advisory and Assistance Team reported the loss in October 2012, according to a new report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, or SIGAR.

The ISAF team found that the “Combined Security Transition Command – Afghanistan could not account for $230 million in spare parts.” The team alerted the SIGAR that to make up for the missing supplies, CSTC-A ordered $130 million in additional spare parts “without knowledge of what parts were in stock or needed.”

The international force relied on the Afghan army to keep its inventory, but the SIGAR reported that the Afghanistan National Army did not know what parts is possessed, had ordered, or how to track them. At four depots, the command found inaccurate stock records.

SIGAR found seemingly rampant confusion from how inventory was kept, to why more than 3,000 new parts were ordred after it was determined they were not needed. The transition command could track parts arriving into Afghanistan, but not their transfer to the Afghan army.

CSTC-A, in a written response to SIGAR, blamed the backlog on two factors: the addition of 1,200 shipping containers in Afghanistan, nearly doubling the containers at a newly created central stock yard, and the “flood” of shipping containers arriving after Pakistan reopened the border into Afghanistan later year.

SIGAR recommended, and CSTC-A has agreed, that no further purchases should be made until the Afghan army does a full inventory. 

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