Afghan Fuel Theft Costing U.S. 'Hundreds Of Millions'

03/03/2011 05:14 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

After nearly a decade of mismanagement, theft and fraud, the U.S. military still hasn't found a way to staunch the flow of what is likely hundreds of millions -- if not billions -- of dollars in lost fuel in Afghanistan, some of which is sold on the black market and winds up in Taliban hands, a TPM investigation has found.

With political unrest in the Middle East sending oil over $100 per barrel and Congress more intent than ever at cutting government waste, fraud and abuse in tough budgetary times, the Defense Department is under intense pressure to find a way to monitor and track the flow of fuel in and out of its bases in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The extensive corruption associated with disappearing fuel in Afghanistan provides another illustration of the problems associated with the heavy use of private contractors on the battlefield. Earlier this week, the non-partisan Commission for Wartime Contracting reported that the U.S. government has spent $117 billion on private contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2002, and tens of billions of those dollars have been wasted.

Read more on TPMMuckraker

Suggest a correction