Afghan Police Bases US Built for $19M Sit Empty

Report: some infrastructure projects could even prove detrimental

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 30, 2012 7:41 AM CDT

(Newser) – When US inspectors looked at four border police bases in Afghanistan—funded by the US at a cost of almost $19 million—they found most of the facilities on three of those bases had either been abandoned or weren't being used as intended, the Wall Street Journal reports. The report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, a US government watchdog agency, uncovered numerous examples of poor construction work: One base has no water supply, a second is experiencing sewage overflow, some are missing drainpipes, others have leaking fuel lines or broken doors. One even includes a well house being used as … a chicken coop. The US Army Corps of Engineers says it is working on fixing the issues.

The report also finds that the US plan to fund hundreds of millions of dollars worth of infrastructure projects in the country is extremely behind schedule—and that some of the ambitious plans may actually hurt the country, the Washington Post adds. The report raises concerns about the 2014 withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and questions whether local forces are prepared to take over security duties—and whether this new infrastructure can be successfully maintained by a country with limited resources. The Post digs into a $220 million electricity project in Kandahar that it cites as a prime example.

In this Tuesday, May 22, 2012 photo, an Afghan National Army soldier stands atop a perimeter wall overlooking the Chinari outpost in Logar province, east Afghanistan.
In this Tuesday, May 22, 2012 photo, an Afghan National Army soldier stands atop a perimeter wall overlooking the Chinari outpost in Logar province, east Afghanistan.   (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
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