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U.S. spent $3 million on boats for landlocked Afghanistan

The closest port is 1,000 miles away in Pakistan.
By Aileen Graef   |   June 13, 2014 at 5:22 PM   |   Comments

WASHINGTON, June 13 (UPI) -- The U.S. spent $3 million on eight patrol boats deemed as a "top priority" for the Afghan police to transport government supplies and "deter smuggling and illegal entry into Afghanistan."

There is just one problem with the Afghan police trying to use the $375,000 a piece boats -- Afghanistan is landlocked. Not only is it landlocked, but it is mostly mountainous terrain with zero square miles of water within its borders.

It's not surprising that the boats are in a Virginia warehouse instead of Afghanistan, where they have been sitting for four years because the U.S. Navy determined they were useless. According to The Washington Post, John Sopko, the U.S. special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction (SIGAR), has sent a series of letters to military officials to determine why the U.S. purchased these boats and never used them.

"The military has been unable to provide records that would answer the most basic questions surrounding this $3 million purchase," said Spoko in a statement.

Spoko has been trying to weed out and eliminate corruption in spending in the country. Hundreds of millions have been spent on unused facilities and equipment that were considered unnecessary. The U.S. military defended their spending by saying that despite their best efforts, sometimes this happens.

"The Department of Defense strives to ensure every reconstruction project is executed in a manner that demonstrates responsible stewardship of taxpayers' dollars," Pentagon spokesman Marine Corps Maj. Bradlee Avots said in a statement. "While there have been some instances of underperforming projects, these are vastly outweighed by the positive cumulative impact of the wide array of successful projects."

According to the National Priorities Project, a non-profit, non-partisan federal budget research organization, the U.S. has spent more than $700 billion on the war in Afghanistan alone since 2001, and over $1 trillion on both Afghanistan and Iraq combined.

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