The Department of State has spent billions on Afghan reconstruction since America’s longest-running war began there over a decade ago, but a new report reveals that the majority of that money went to a single contractor with a sordid past.
According to that recently released write-up, the United States gave $2.7 billion to Virginia-based military contractor DynCorp between 2002 and March 2013, even as the embattled firm was being berated by bad publicity brought on by a handful of scandals and mishaps.
In 2007, for example, a Special Inspector General for Afghanistan (SIGAR) report determined that “DynCorp seemed to act almost independently of its reporting officers at the Department of State,” and had billed the US government for millions of dollars for unauthorized work. In 2011, the company agreed to settle the dispute by signing a check to the State Dept. for $7.7 million, but that same year the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks published a diplomatic cable that further attracted negative attention to DynCorp by revealing that contractors hired an underage Afghan boy to entertain them. Nevertheless, DynCorp continued to take in billions from the State Dept. for contract work in both Afghanistan and Iraq.