Somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 billion went "missing" in Iraq -- remember? Those cargo planes loaded with cash money "lost" around $6 billion. More and more billions were invested in reconstruction projects that were never started, much less completed. Etc., etc.
Congress appropriated a whopping $51.4 billion to help the country recover from the war by, among other things, training local police, building schools, hospitals and transportation systems, but much of the money has literally vanished. The funds were allocated to the DOD, the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), though the DOD—especially the Army—has been the leader in handling the money. ...Judicial Watch
Funny how that happens. Are we on track to do the same thing all over again in Afghanistan?
For more than a decade, wads of American dollars packed into suitcases, backpacks and, on occasion, plastic shopping bags have been dropped off every month or so at the offices of Afghanistan’s president — courtesy of the Central Intelligence Agency.
All told, tens of millions of dollars have flowed from the C.I.A. to the office of President Hamid Karzai, according to current and former advisers to the Afghan leader.
“We called it ‘ghost money,’ ” said Khalil Roman, who served as Mr. Karzai’s deputy chief of staff from 2002 until 2005. “It came in secret, and it left in secret.” ...NYT
Certainly there's evidence that the cargo loads of dollars have not exactly turned the government of Afghanistan into a responsible rebuilder of its people's lives or particularly helped the CIA increase its influence on that government.
But the C.I.A. has continued to pay, believing it needs Mr. Karzai’s ear to run its clandestine war against Al Qaeda and its allies, according to American and Afghan officials. ...NYT
See how that works? Just trot out the magic phrase -- "Al Qaeda" -- and three branches of US government melt like lovers. Oh, and "Iran" works, too, ever since we found out that the Iranian government was seeking the same kind of influence the CIA wants with the Karzai government.
By late 2002, Mr. Karzai and his aides were pressing for the payments to be routed through the president’s office, allowing him to buy the warlords’ loyalty, a former adviser to Mr. Karzai said.
Then, in December 2002, Iranians showed up at the palace in a sport utility vehicle packed with cash, the former adviser said.
The C.I.A. began dropping off cash at the palace the following month, and the sums grew from there, Afghan officials said. ...NYT
Can't get an accounting on this money. It's "off the books."