US Paying Salaries for Tens of Thousands of Non-Existent Afghans

Article via Antiwar

Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko is once again warning about the long-standing problems of corruption in Afghanistan, and the amount of US “reconstruction aid” disappearing down black holes over the course of the years. As always, the discussion came around to “ghost soldiers.”

Ghost soldiers are a phenomenon in which Afghan military commanders fill their ranks with fictional names and just keep the salaries, which since the salaries are paid pretty much exclusively by NATO and overwhelmingly by the US, has been a known tactic that the Afghan government has done nothing to prevent.

Sopko warned that the “ghost soldier” problem has expanded to include fictional police, teachers, and other government officials, and that all told the US taxpayers are paying the salaries of “tens of thousands” of Afghans who don’t actually exist, and will likely be doing so for years, potentially decades to come. Though exact figures are impossible to know, SIGAR said some $300 million in salaries are paid to “unverified” employees.

Individual Afghan government employee salaries are pretty small, particularly for military recruits, which has been a big reason the nation has struggled to fill the ranks with actual people. That commanders can pocket the difference just adds to the incentive to make up names and “pay” them.

This is a big reason why the Afghan military has struggled so mightily in fights with the Taliban as well, as their statistics on how many troops they have defending any given checkpoint or important city are wildly inaccurate, and they can find that the Taliban forces they thought they handily outnumbered are actually in a position to seize territory.


This article first appeared on Antiwar.com and was authored by Jason Ditz.


OH YEAH, since we are not corporate or government owned help us out here.

YOU CAN ALSO SUPPORT US ON

We gratefully accept Crypto Coins

Dash – XiZebHViTKxjngJ8U8Gekbz34XDcMjKe29
Bitcoin – 1F6oeUnhXfr5UMC95apbJg7CLjm3BUrT8V
ETH – 0x9124589c4eAD555F04a7214214c86EA80E129abB

FOLLOW WEARECHANGE ON SOCIAL MEDIA

WEARECHANGE MERCHANDISE

https://wearechange.org/store

https://teespring.com/stores/wearechange/