Diana West

I don't know what else to call a 2009 USAID agricultural project that started as a $60 million initiative to distribute vouchers for wheat seed and fertilizer in the north -- generous enough -- and ended up, "under pressure to inject $1 million each day into a dozen or so key terrain districts," dumping $360 million into the south and east not just for seeds and fertilizer but also "cash-for-work" -- hmm -- and something dubiously called "community development."

Or how about the U.S. mission to train and equip Afghan National Security Forces at a cost to American taxpayers of $6.4 billion a year? "Such costs far exceed what the government of Afghanistan can sustain," the commission determined, "so it is unclear how those costs will be funded in the future."


"Meanwhile," the report continues, "$11 billion of facilities constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for (Afghan National Security Forces) are 'at risk.'"

Needless to say, $11 billion worth of facilities is a terrible thing to waste.

Then there's a category called "Diversion of U.S. Funds" -- as in diversion of funds to the enemy. No official estimate here, the commission reports; it's anyone's guess. While the opium trade is considered to be the primary funding for the jihadists, guess who's next on the list?

You are. "During a March 2011 trip to Afghanistan, experts told the commission that extortion of funds from U.S construction projects and transportation contracts is the insurgents' second-largest funding source."

This record must be open to citizens, scholars and journalists -- not to mention the Justice Department fraud squad -- ASAP. Otherwise, the bucks won't stop anywhere, ever.

Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).