The Pentagon has wasted $34 million on a brand new state of the arts headquarters in southwestern Afghanistan that not a single U.S. troop will use. The 64,000-square-foot structure, larger than a football field, well equipped for modern warfare, will be torn down as troops are rapdily withdrawing from the region.
Hailed as the best constructed building in the country, John F. Sopko, special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, said in a letter to Defense Secreatry Chuck Hagel that, “The building will probably be demolished,” for the lack of military need.
The alarm was raised to halt the construction of the facility yet the project continued despite the shrinking need for new base. The headquarters has symbolized the grave mishandlings of the Pentagon and the staggering amount of government waste that has cost taxpayers millions.
The U.S. military blew through $34 million on a hulking headquarters in southwestern Afghanistan that probably will never be used by U.S. forces, in an example of government waste that has military commanders fuming.
John F. Sopko, special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, exposed the problems in a letter this week to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and other military leaders. The Washington Post first reported on the controversy, writing that the construction of the building continued for years despite warnings from the Marine commander in Helmand that it was not needed.
The military is now investigating what went wrong, and is trying to figure out what to do with the 64,000-square-foot facility in Camp Leatherneck.
“The building will probably be demolished,” Sopko said in his letter, citing the opinion of military officials his office spoke with. Another option is to give it to the Afghans, but doing so would require another major overhaul.
Sopko and others are raising alarm at the fact the project continued despite the diminishing need for it. In his letter, Sopko said it appeared to be one of the “best constructed” buildings he’s seen in the country.