Outrage over faulty IED program in Afghanistan

July 24, 2013 at 9:20 AM

WASHINGTON, July 24 (UPI) -- U.S. soldiers fighting in Afghanistan are at risk because of the lack of oversight from the Defense Department, Sen. Robert Menendez said.

Menendez, D-N.J., serves as the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He expressed outrage over a report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction saying flawed defense projects in Afghanistan may have resulted in the death or injury of U.S. troops.

"Our troops should not have to fear that expensive programs authorized by the Defense Department meant to deter roadside bombs were never completed or even worse, were nonexistent," he said in a statement Tuesday. "Before Congress approves additional funding for Afghanistan, I call on the administration to implement real oversight reforms."

The SIGAR report said hundreds of installations meant to counter the use of improvised explosive devices in Afghanistan were never installed. Afghan authorities have opened their own investigation into the situation.

The report blamed overlapping layers of authority for issues with contractors tasked with installing the IED deterrents.

International forces operating in Afghanistan are scheduled to end their combat obligations next year as Afghan security forces take the lead in securing the country.

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