This is not satire. This is not a joke. This is actually happening in Afghanistan. And we are paying billions of dollars to enable this travesty:
For several years, Afghan police recruits under the tutelage of private U.S. government contractors couldn't understand why their marksmanship never improved.
The answer became clear earlier this year. Italian contractors also helping to train Afghan volunteers showed them that the sights on their AK-47s and M-16s had never been adjusted.
"We're paying somebody to teach these people to shoot these weapons, and nobody ever bothered to check their sights?" Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri said, after relating that story at a hearing Thursday.
To McCaskill, who chaired the hearing of the Senate Contracting Oversight panel, it illustrated why the U.S. has spent more than $6 billion on private contractors, but the police-training program remains rife with problems.
"It is an unbelievable, incompetent story of contracts," she said. "For eight years we have been supposed training the police in Afghanistan. We've flushed $6 billion."
Improving and expanding the 90,000-man Afghan National Police to maintain stability and protect the population is crucial to the Obama administration's plan to begin reducing the American military presence in July 2011.
But the training contracts have been plagued by mismanagement. Investigations by the Government Accounting Office and the inspector generals from the Departments of State and Defense have sharply criticized both the contractors and the government oversight. They detailed a lack of supervision and controls over spending, among other failures.
"Just about everything that could go wrong here has gone wrong," Defense Department Inspector General Gordon Heddell told the subcommittee...read on
How embarrassing. WTF is Blackwater, I mean Xe, doing getting cash out of the government? That's what happens when Republicans start wars. They outsource the troops and then you're stuck with contractors because we don't have the manpower to do the job. Getting out of there should be our highest priority. Exiting out of Iraq and Afghanistan would be awesome for so many reasons but one that's way down the list is that I will make it my mission to never let Blackwater receive a nickel of our money again.
Why aren't the teabaggers complaining that $6 billion of our tax money was spent on this war?
And for all of our tax dollars, the Afghanistan soldiers are woefully inadequate. It would appear that Marines do not like going into battle with them.