"Contractors in Afghanistan are making big money for bad work." That is the conclusion reached in a new report from CorpWatch written by an Afghan-American journalist who returned to her native country to examine the progress of reconstruction.
"The [George W] Bush administration touts the reconstruction effort in Afghanistan as a success story," the report said, but claimed that reconstruction has been "bungled" by "many of the same politically connected corporations which are doing similar work in Iraq", receiving "massive open-ended contracts" without competitive bidding or with limited competition.
"These companies are pocketing millions, and leaving behind a people increasingly frustrated and angry with the results," the report said. Foreign contractors "make as much as US$1,000 a day, while the Afghans they employ make $5 per day," the report charged.
Examples cited in the report by author Fariba Nawa included a highway that began crumbling before it was finished; a school with a collapsed roof; a clinic with faulty plumbing; a farmers' cooperative that farmers can't use; Afghan police and military that, after training, are incapable of providing the most basic security.
The fall and fall of Afghanistan