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U.S. spends $2B on AFGHAN nation building – POLITICO.com

September 8, 2011

The number of civilians going to Afghanistan has nearly tripled since 2009. | AP Photo Close

U.S. spends $2B on Afghan nation building

By MACKENZIE WEINGER | 9/8/11 1:27 PM EDT

Sending extra United States civilians to Afghanistan to help with nation building has cost taxpayers nearly $2 billion since 2009, a new audit released Thursday shows.

Auditors found that taxpayers pay between $410,000 to $570,000 to deploy one civilian employee to Afghanistan for one year — and the number of civilians going to the country has nearly tripled since 2009, from 320 in 2009 to 1,040 by June 2011.

The audit, released jointly by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction and State Department’s Office of Inspector General, found that the U.S. government has committed to spending $1.7 billion to support the civilian effort from 2009-2011, and has spent $880 million thus far. About $782 million remains to be spent.

The $1.7 billion does not include additional security costs, which the report says the State Dept. pegged at $491 million.

The report also said that the analysis shows that the State Department “has not always taken the steps necessary to safeguard” the funding provided against “improper use” and must make formal agreements with other government agencies to establish and monitor how funds will be spent.

via U.S. spends $2B on Afghan nation building – Mackenzie Weinger – POLITICO.com.

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