Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction Arlington United States
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I am pleased to present SIGARs High-Risk List report to the incoming Administration and the new Congress. It identifies what we see as the greatest threats to the ultimate success of our more than 15-year-long U.S.-funded reconstruction effort in Afghanistan. The U.S. investment in Afghanistan has been extraordinary. Since 2002, Congress has appropriated more than 115 billion for Afghanistans reconstruction. It is the largest expenditure to rebuild a single country in our nations history. This tremendous amount of taxpayer money has been used to train Afghan security forces, stand up the Afghan government, and develop the local economy. Despite this enormous expenditure, the reconstruction effort remains tenuous and incomplete. U.S. and international donors recently pledged to financially support Afghanistan through 2020, with our contribution expected to remain at or near 5 billion a year. The work of SIGAR and other oversight agencies has found that much of the reconstruction mission is at risk. To explain why, SIGARs High-Risk List report outlines the most critical issues threatening reconstruction. It also offers key questions for the new Administration and the 115th Congress to consider when crafting policies for addressing these vexing challenges. While all eight risk areas outlined in this report threaten reconstruction, the questionable capabilities of the Afghan security forces and pervasive corruption are the most critical. Without capable security forces, Afghanistan will never be able to stand on its own. Without addressing entrenched corruption, the legitimacy and effectiveness of the Afghan government will remain in a perilous state. If these two risk areas are not addressed, I fear that our reconstruction efforts could ultimately fail, to the detriment of our national-security goals in Afghanistan. SIGAR remains dedicated to its reconstruction oversight mission in Afghanistan and will continue to aggressively ferret out waste, fraud, and abuse.
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