US paying for non-existent Afghan troops
The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) is seeking information from the Pentagon on discrepancies found in the $68 billion in funding between 2002 and now.
|SIGAR is particularly concerned about the apparent funding of "ghost soldiers" who do not actually exist. Higher ranking military personnel are claimed to have added names to lists of personnel who do not actually exist and then to have embezzled the salaries paid to them. The extent of the practice is not clear. The situation is complicated by the fact that many Afghan recruits just collect their first pay check and then disappear. A rough estimate is that there are tens of thousands of these "ghost soldiers'. In a letter to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter back in August, inspector general John Sopko wrote: "Persistent reports indicating discrepancies between the assigned force strength of the ANDSF and the actual number of personnel serving raise questions regarding whether the U.S. government is taking adequate steps to prevent taxpayer funds from being spent on so-called ‘ghost’ soldiers."|