June 5, 2023

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IG: The fate of Biden’s billion dollars in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan has not been calculated

IG: The fate of Biden's billion dollars in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan has not been calculated

The US government gave $1.1 billion in taxes to Afghanistan controlled by the Taliban In humanitarian aid since the US withdrawal in August 2021A large federal watchdog says many US agencies refuse to explain how the money is being spent.

The US government remains Afghanistan’s single largest donor more than a year after the Taliban took control of the country, says the Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) for the first time in history – they have no answers.

Taliban elements lead a convoy to mark the first anniversary of the withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan, along a street in Kabul, Afghanistan, August 31, 2022. (Reuters/Ali Khara/File Photo)

in SIGAR Quarterly report to Congress The inspector general states that they are unable to track how more than $1 billion in taxpayer money has been spent because many government agencies refuse to cooperate.

Inspector General John F. Sopko adds that both the US Agency for International Development (USAID), which manages the majority of US government spending for Afghanistan, and the Treasury have “refused to cooperate with the United Nations Office of the Inspector General (SIGAR) in any capacity.”

The inspector general says the State Department was “selective” about the information it provided and failed to provide details of agency-supported programs that are funded by the billions of dollars in taxpayer money.

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FOX Business has exclusively obtained letters from Representative Matt Gaetz (R-Florida) to Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen and Administrator of USAID Samantha PowerThey demand accountability for more than $1.1 billion in taxpayer money diverted to Taliban-controlled Afghanistan since the US military’s exit..

Gates wrote in his letters: “I found it all the more shocking and insane, that a lot of these illicit money transfers have gone unaccounted for because your administration withheld information in violation of federal law.”

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A USAID spokesperson said they had been cooperating with the inspector general and had submitted hundreds of pages of documents and dozens of assessments in response to requests for information.

A Treasury spokesperson told FOX Business, “Treasury has complied with all legal requirements and has shared information with SIGAR.”

The White House and State Department did not respond to FOX Business prior to publication. A State Department spokesperson told Bloomberg that they answered dozens of questions and submitted thousands of pages of documents to the OIG – and noted that the inspector general’s mandate does not cover humanitarian aid – just the money spent on Afghan reconstruction that the US ended up with the Taliban. takes over.

Gates told FOX Business that the SIGAR report is a “severe” indictment of the Biden administration’s lack of transparency compared to previous administrations.

“57 times when the OIG issued its quarterly report, they refused to settle this kind of indictment against him [the] The Trump administration, or the Obama administration, or the Bush administration…unwillingness to engage in transparency is highest with the Biden government after the Biden government left the Taliban an army and now insists on unreviewed transfers of aid that has already exceeded $1 billion. “


Republicans say this will be a major issue if they take control of the House after Tuesday’s midterm elections and have the power to subpoena administrative officials and get answers.

“This will be near the top of my list on the Armed Services Committee,” Gates said.