Politics

U.S. Military Loses $475 Million in Oil in Afghanistan

| by Michael Allen

The US-led NATO command, which trains the Afghan army, is under investigation for destroying records of fuel purchases for the Afghans totaling about $475 million, reports Reuters.

NATO command does not know whether the fuel it delivers to the Afghans is used or stored, lost, stolen or diverted to the Taliban.

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The U.S. has been spending more and more on fuel for Afghanistan. For 2012, the cost was $306 million. For 2013 and 2014, the cost will be  $466 million and $555 million, all paid for by U.S. taxpayers.

John Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR), said in a letter addressed to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta that he was investigating the record-shredding, reports Reuters.

The record-shredding of war documents violates government policies. The U.S. Army Central Command specifically instructed financial managers not to destroy them, Sopko wrote in the letter.

The report said that the Defense Department and NATO “should work together immediately to establish clear guidelines to ensure that this money is not misused. These problems must be fixed before the command transfers responsibility for these contracts to the Afghan National Army and provides hundreds of millions of dollars directly to the Afghan government."