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State Department won’t work with US government’s Afghanistan watchdog, inspector general says

AT

Kabul: The State Department refuses to work with the top U.S. government watchdog overseeing assistance in Afghanistan amid concerns that the Taliban may be diverting billions of dollars in U.S. aid, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) John Sopko said. 

U.S. taxpayers have given $2.5 billion in humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan since the chaotic withdrawal in August 2021, but the inspector general testified Tuesday to Congress that it is unclear how that money is spent.

“The State Department has basically obfuscated, delayed reports … ordered their employees not to talk to us,” Sopko told the House Foreign Affairs Committee, according to The Epoch Times. “We’ve gone out of our way to work with them but we’re still not getting cooperation.”

Sopko, who has served as the top U.S. watchdog on Afghanistan since 2012, said that the government does not know how much assistance is going to the Taliban but “diverted U.S. assistance may now be funding terrorist activities in addition to enriching the pockets of corrupt officials. Our research confirms those who control the guns control the aid.”

He also said: “Many would like to believe we are aiding Afghan people while successfully bypassing the Taliban. This can be viewed as a useful fiction, as it ignores the fact that it’s impossible to entirely bypass the Taliban regime.”

Sopko has warned about problems in U.S. aid to Afghanistan for years. 

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