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American taxpayers are on the hook for a $43 million gas station constructed in Afghanistan -- a price tag that’s about $42.5 million higher than it should’ve been, and the Department of Defense can’t explain why, according to a new government report.
The DOD charged the American taxpayer $43 million for what is likely the world’s most expensive gas station,” Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction
SIGAR found that in other countries, for example in Pakistan next door, the total cost for constructing a CNG station can be up to $500,000 -- not the astronomical $43 million
The cost of converting local vehicles to be able to use compressed natural gas is reportedly around $700 – a little more than the average annual salary
originally posted by: WeRpeons
a reply to: PraetorianAZ
Our government can waste millions of dollars on things like this and not bat an eye. Yet a program like Social Security and Medicare in which millions of elderly people rely on is being threatened.
originally posted by: MystikMushroom
For 43 million, it better be full-service (they pump the gas, I sit in the car) -- and my windshield and headlights get cleaned.
According to SIGAR, DOD said the group in charge of the project, the Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TFBSO)...
The Task Force for Business and Stability Operations (TFBSO) is a division of the U.S. Department of Defense established in 2006 to stabilize the post-invasion Iraqi economy, reduce unemployment, and attract foreign investors to Iraq. In 2009, TFBSO expanded operations to include Afghanistan.
TFBSO founder and former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense Paul Brinkley described TFBSO stating: "We do capitalism. We’re about helping companies make money."
Brinkley served as the United States Deputy Undersecretary of Defense under Secretaries of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and Robert Gates from 2004 to 2011.
The original contract for the station, awarded to Central Asian Engineering, was for $3 million, according to the report. However, between 2011 and 2014, the task force spent $42.7 million on the project, $30 million of which went towards overhead costs, the report states.
What we do know is that the Department of Defense awarded an initial $3 million construction contract to Central Asian Engineering — a multi-national construction firm that describes itself as doing "the hardest jobs" in "the toughest places" with "the best people." The company failed to respond to repeated requests from VICE News for comment, and the phone in their DC office did not have an answering machine...
Since SIGAR and the Pentagon were short on details, VICE News called up the filling station in Sheberghan and asked to speak to the manger. He'd never heard of Central Asian Engineering, or Qashqari Oil and Gas Services. He said the station is operational and owned by Afghan Gas Company. The manager estimated that the station now serves around 250 natural gas-converted cars in the province of 500,000...
Afzali speculated that the money for the gas station could have found it's way into the hands of some unsavory characters, which could explain why the Pentagon is so reluctant to get into the details. "Handing over large sums of money to powerful local warlords has been a norm rather than an exception," he said.