US aid may be flowing to Afghan insurgents: audit


Dan De Luce
AFP
July 21, 2011

WASHINGTON — US aid money could be fueling corruption and inadvertently bankrolling insurgents in Afghanistan because the United States is unable to closely track the funds, a government audit said Wednesday.

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The report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction said the effect of massive US funding was jeopardized by a lack of financial controls as well as a deep reluctance by Afghan authorities to prosecute corruption cases.

“US agencies have taken steps to strengthen their oversight of US funds, but the United States still has limited visibility over how these funds flow through the Afghan economy, leaving these funds vulnerable to fraud or diversion to insurgents,” said the audit.

The findings come amid growing frustration in Washington over the corruption-plagued Afghan government and steadily declining public support for the nearly 10-year-old war.

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