More than Two-Thirds of Afghanistan Reconstruction Money has Gone to One Company: DynCorp International
If not for the federal government, contractor DynCorp International wouldn’t be in business. Virtually all of its revenue (96%) comes from government contracts. That includes the vast majority of the taxpayer dollars that the State Department has awarded to companies to help rebuild Afghanistan.
The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) says that of the $4 billion allotted by the State Department from 2002 to 2013, 69.3% went to DynCorp. In terms of actual dollars, DynCorp took in $2.8 billion.
Giving so much to one company might not have been a good idea, given DynCorp’s record.
The Project on Government Oversight (POGO) notes the contractor’s “colorful history” includes “instances of labor smuggling, weak performance and overpayments on a base support services contract, botched construction work on an Afghan Army garrison, and lawsuits filed by disgruntled subcontractors.”
Most of DynCorp’s contracts have been to train and equip the Afghan National Police and counternarcotics forces, SIGAR reports. It was during this work that the company was accused by a top Afghan official of hiring “dancing boys” in 2009 to entertain DynCorp trainers.
A diplomatic cable revealed by Wikileaks quoted Interior Minister Hanif Atmar as having “deep concerns that lives could be in danger if news leaked that foreign police trainers working for U.S. commercial contractor DynCorp hired ‘dancing boys’ to perform for them.”
Both the company and State Department officials denied the accusation. And yet, it was “serious enough to prompt worried emails from an Afghan politician asking that the story be kept secret,” Jacob Siegel wrote at The Daily Beast.
The second largest recipient of contracts for work in Afghanistan has been PAE Government Services, which received $598 million (or 15% of all State Department reconstruction funds). PAE has also had its troubles, according to POGO.
The former subsidiary of Lockheed Martin, one of the biggest defense contractors in the U.S., saw a former program manager, Keith Johnson, and his wife, Angela Johnson, go to prison for conspiring to defraud the military over purchases of vehicle parts.
In addition to jail time, the Johnsons were fined $2 million for funneling taxpayer money to a shell company they controlled and to subcontractors in exchange for kickbacks.
To Learn More:
Meet the 3 Largest Recipients of State Dept. Afghan Aid (by Neil Gordon, Project on Government Oversight)
The Real Winner of the Afghan War Is This Shady Military Contractor (by Jacob Siegel, Daily Beast)
Department of State Assistance to Afghanistan: $4 Billion Obligated Between 2002 and 2013 (Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction) (pdf)
Taken to the Cleaners: U.S. Picks Up Coalition’s $700 Million Laundry, Food, Base Support Tab (by Jim McElhatton, Washington Times)
DynCorp Wins Big Pentagon Contract Despite “Unsatisfactory” Rating (by Ken Broder, AllGov)
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