NATO suddenly classifies ratings of Afghan military and police capabilities

By Julia Harte

NATO abruptly classifies assessments of Afghan army and police, which the U.S. spent billions building up.

Excerpts from this story referencing "International Security Assistance Force":

"… eir current withdrawal from Afghanistan’s Helmand province, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan abruptly classified its assessment of the fighting a …"

U.S. loses track of weapons shipped to Afghanistan

By James Arkin

Three separate systems are used to track the arms sent to Afghanistan, but they are riddled with errors and not linked up.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Afghanistan":

"… bility.” …"

"… tem failed, according to a new report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, and for reasons that could easily have been foreseen. The …"

"… tates. The second is a Defense Department listing of all those received in Afghanistan. They rely heavily on the serial numbers of the arms. But these numbers m …"

"… were duplicates, according to the report by Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Sopko.  More than 20,000 serial numbers in each …"

Afghans don’t like soybeans, despite a big U.S. push

By Alexander Cohen and James Arkin

Washington ignored warnings that Afghans were unlikely to embrace protein-rich soy products.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Afghanistan":

"… e more” for what’s being sold under the label “Strong Naan.” …"

"… e soybean production. Soybeans are now no more a viable commercial crop in Afghanistan than they were in 2010, when the $34 million program got started, accordin …"

"… r shortcomings of the estimated $120 billion U.S. reconstruction effort in Afghanistan, including what many experts depict as ignorance of Afghan traditions, mis …"

"… has calculated precisely how much the United States wasted or misspent in Afghanistan, but a special congressionally-chartered group known as the Commission on …"

U.S. military describes its mistakes in Afghanistan

By R. Jeffrey Smith

A report by the Joint Chiefs of Staff says that both military and civilian officials failed to tackle corrosive corruption.

Excerpts from this story referencing "U.S. military":

"… rity of the Afghan people.” A month earlier, however, a group of senior U.S. military officers rendered a much harsher judgment in private about the legacy of t …"

"… ers, according to a spokesman. Among the conclusions: in retrospect, U.S. military forces were unprepared to deal with a country where private profit-making …"

"… y factor, namely an illicit national economy. And it acknowledges that the U.S. military itself bears much blame for Afghanistan’s enduring mess, due to its poor …"

"… d because of our logistics system.” The obvious question is whether the U.S. military — as well as the rest of the government — will heed these lessons, and …"

U.S. literacy program for Afghan military comes up short

By Mattie Quinn and R. Jeffrey Smith

Auditor says a program in Afghanistan costing hundreds of millions of dollars has been undermined by poor contracts and weak monitoring.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Afghanistan":

"… ates. These conclusions conflict with claims by the NATO Training Mission-Afghanistan to the auditor last October that the U.S.-led alliance was on tr …"

"… oops to read and write in either Dari or Pashto, the official languages of Afghanistan. Officials with the training program told the auditor last October that 2 …"

"… total of $200 million over four years. Two of the contractors are based in Afghanistan and one, headquartered in Florida, is led by retired U.S. Army officers. …"

"… spond to the report, Major Doug McNair, a training mission spokesperson in Afghanistan, wrote in an email that “literacy training must be balanced against …"

Afghanistan's narcotics problems grow worse

By R. Jeffrey Smith and Mattie Quinn

A costly and ambitious U.S. effort to curtail Afghanistan's poppy production falters as U.S. forces draw down.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Russia":

"… particular that the DEA find a way to collaborate with its counterparts in Russia and Iran, where a significant portion of Afghanistan’s heroin moves. Th …"

Exporting mismanagement to Afghanistan

By R. Jeffrey Smith

Auditors cannot account for many spare parts purchased for the Afghanistan Army.

Excerpts from this story referencing "United States":

"… s,” Sopko said in a statement to the Center for Public Integrity. “The United States has spent hundreds of millions on spare parts that are unaccounted for.” …"

Audit: U.S. lacks anti-corruption plan for Afghan aid

By Douglas Birch

Audit says U.S. lacks blueprint to assure Afghan assistance is well-spent

Excerpts from this story referencing "Bank":

"… create a strong financial sector following the 2010 collapse of the Kabul Bank. In March, the Bank’s founder and 20 others were convicted on charges th …"

Talk instead of development in Afghanistan

By Rebecca LaFlure

Millions for chats instead of grants.

Excerpts from this story referencing "John F. Sopko":

"… n statement released with the report on July 29, Special Inspector General John F. Sopko called the findings “troubling.” He said “this looks like bad value …"

Government auditor challenges White House account of Afghanistan security

By Richard H.P. Sia

A special inspector general discloses that as US forces head for the exit, the Pentagon has not met its goal for enlarging the Afghan force

Excerpts from this story referencing "Senate Armed Services Committee":

"… len, used still different terminology during April 16 testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee. He said the Afghan government “has recruited and fielded most of its au …"

Pentagon claims $757 million overbilling by contractor in Afghanistan

By Richard H.P. Sia

Lawmakers are upset that the Pentagon kept giving billions of dollars to a food supplier for U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Taliban":

"… ed that DLA’s original solicitation said that only “remnants” of the Taliban were still active in areas of Afghanistan where his company would be opera …"

More waste found in Afghanistan as US heads for the exit

By Douglas Birch

The US effort in Afghanistan has been repeatedly tainted by poor planning and corruption, says inspector general

Excerpts from this story referencing "United States":

"… rently empty. The facility, completed two months earlier at a cost to the United States of $7.3 million, was designed to provide a base for 175 border police to h …"

"… poor security, and corruption. In his report, he wrote that the United States and NATO allies should work harder to focus their remaining reconstruction …"

"… ent and other agencies rely on the list to track development efforts. The United States and some of its allies have pledged to shore up the Afghan government with …"

"… to make sure that it is not a launching pad for future attacks against the United States? We have achieved that goal. We're in the process of achieving that goal. …"

Missing: $200M in gas receipts for NATO aid in Afghanistan

By R. Jeffrey Smith

NATO fuel purchase documents in Afghanistan were shredded and remain missing

Excerpts from this story referencing "House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee":

"… about now.In his report to the chairman and ranking minority member of the House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee on national security and foreign operations, Sopko said he had found “no …"

IG: Afghan fuel records go missing

By Aaron Mehta

New IG report warns of missing data on $475 million in oil

Excerpts from this story referencing "Afghan National Army":

"… tion.” …"

Is the Democratic platform in synch with the public on national defense?

By Aaron Mehta and R. Jeffrey Smith

Democratic platform offers hints at how Obama would handle defense in second term.

Counter-IED efforts still beset by poor oversight and duplication

By Zach Toombs and Aaron Mehta

The Pentagon has trouble tracking billions of dollars in expenditures on the most vexing threat of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts.

Millions of dollars in U.S. aid wasted in Afghanistan

By Zach Toombs

Government watchdog finds many examples of failed construction projects.

Excerpts from this story referencing "inspector":

"… er deputy director at Homeland Security and prosecutor who just filled the inspector general role July 2, says in his quarterly report published Monday that th …"

"… construction projects in Afghanistan has gone to waste, according to the inspector general. The report also uncovered $12 million of grants for construction …"

"… e the money was being put to good use. Looking at one of those grants, the inspector general found that $253,432 had been wasted after a project was scrapped a …"

"… y checked the quality of the project upon its completion, according to the inspector general’s report.A separate inspector general report published Monday pr …"

Congress can’t say no to military pay raises

By Zach Toombs

Soldiering now pays much better than civilian work

Excerpts from this story referencing "Robert Gates":

"… nd a swelling of the armed forces’ top ranks.Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates pushed, to no avail, for major changes to Pentagon compensation and warned …"

Army's mishandling of Afghanistan police contract boosted costs

By Zach Toombs

The cost of a billion-dollar program jumps 14 percent in just the first four months.

U.S. military admits major war mistakes

By R. Jeffrey Smith

An internal report prepared by the Joint Staff describes failures of leadership and planning in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Experienced watchdog appointed for U.S. spending in Afghanistan

By Aaron Mehta

A veteran investigator fills one of ten vacant Inspector General jobs.

Excerpts from this story referencing "John F. Sopko":

"… ns, it can be hard to find a new challenge. But if he was looking for one, John F. Sopko seems to have found it.This week, the Obama administration announced that …"

Public overwhelmingly supports large defense spending cuts

By R. Jeffrey Smith

Young, old, Republicans, Democrats, men, women all say they favor whopping reductions in military spending.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Matthew Leatherman":

"… ls than policymakers are willing to support in an election season,” said Matthew Leatherman, an analyst with the Budgeting for Foreign Affairs and Defense Project at …"

Corruption still threatens U.S. efforts in Afghanistan

By Aaron Mehta

As U.S. heads for the door in Afghanistan, persistent corruption threatens to undermine development efforts there.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction":

"… $100 billion the U.S. has spent on reconstruction efforts since 2002. U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction Steven Trent warned that deep corruption persists in the country, and can …"

New light on Pakistani drone war's death toll

By The Associated Press

U.S. attacks result in predominantly militant deaths, though perception suggest civilians are the target

Excerpts from this story referencing "Pakistan":

"… bad contributed to this report. …"

"… f the deadliest attacks in the past 18 months.The widespread perception in Pakistan that civilians, not militants, are the principal victims — a view that i …"

"… of the 10 attacks in North Waziristan, the main sanctuary for militants in Pakistan's northwest tribal region along the Afghan border, was told that a signifi …"

"… d one of the worst civilian death tolls since the drone program started in Pakistan, nearly 90 percent of the people killed were militants, villagers said.But …"

FACT CHECK: The state of Obama’s facts

By FactCheck.Org

The president’s facts and figures were often accurate — but not the whole story

Excerpts from this story referencing "Energy":

"… s."All that is true — as far as it goes.According to the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, 37 million offshore acres were offered in the Gulf o …"

"… ;8,011 million barrels per day in 1998, according to figures from the Energy Information Administration. And EIA estimates that the current 11-month av …"

"… nese Tires Falls Flat.” Wall Street Journal. 20 Jan 2012.Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. Domestic Energy Production Fact Sheet. Accessed 24 Jan 20 …"

"… reet Journal. 20 Jan 2012.Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. Domestic Energy Production Fact Sheet. Accessed 24 Jan 2012.Energy Information Administrat …"

FACT CHECK: Foreign policy themed GOP debate full of falsehoods

By FactCheck.Org

Republican presidential candidates stretch the truth on international issues in South Carolina debate

Excerpts from this story referencing "Pakistan":

"… s “dismissed claims from three prisoners who were brought to Bagram from Pakistan and Thailand and have been held for as long as seven years,” according t …"

The weekly watchdog: Aug. 29 - Sept. 2

By Bill Buzenberg

In case you missed them, catch up on this week's top investigations from iWatch News

Excerpts from this story referencing "Rick Perry":

"… didates. This week, iWatch News’ Peter H. Stone reported that Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s campaign now counts as many as 1,000 bundlers, many of whom will bring …"

Windfalls of War: A decade of keeping government spending accountable

By Sandy Johnson

Tracking the cost of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, $1 trillion and up

Excerpts from this story referencing "Saddam Hussein":

"… nistration waged a carefully orchestrated campaign of misinformation about Saddam Hussein's Iraq, making more than 900 false statements935 false statements: Ke …"

Windfalls of war: Pentagon buys choppers from Russia to equip Afghan, Iraqi militaries

By Sharon Weinberger

One-stop shopping for helicopters...made in Russia

Excerpts from this story referencing "Navy":

"… ined, delayed, and simply not a good use of taxpayer funds.”In 2009, the Navy eventually held a rare competition to buy four Mi-17 helicopters for Afgha …"

"… act to a defense firm in Shelby’s home state to deliver four Mi-17s. The Navy was preparing to hold another competition for 21 Mi-17s in 2011, when the …"

IMPACT: Nelson calls conditions at some military base schools "shameful"

By Kristen Lombardi

There have been a flurry of requests from Capitol Hill to repair schools on military bases in the wake of an iWatch News probe