The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) issued a report detailing questionable Pentagon payments to the Government of Afghanistan for Ministry of Defense salaries from fiscal year 2019 to May 2021. SIGAR found that during this period, the Defense Department disbursed $232 million to the Afghan government “for suspicious units and non-existent object codes, or [for salaries] that were never delivered to the bank accounts of MOD personnel.” The report notes that these payments were calculated outside of the Afghan Personnel and Pay System software system, which was put in place to prevent corruption and promote transparency regarding payments to the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. The Pentagon reported spending $64.8 million on the software system.
This SIGAR report follows a prior report released by the watchdog in May concerning the factors that precipitated the Taliban’s takeover in Afghanistan.
SIGAR sent its most recent report to U.S. government staff but embargoed it until July 27. Politico shared the report on July 25, noting that it obtained it independently. You can read the report here and below.