Afghanistan Inc.



Pratap Chatterjee

Editor, CorpWatch


Afghanistan, Inc.: A CorpWatch Investigative Report

Contractors in Afghanistan are making big money for bad work

A highway that begins crumbling before it is finished. A school with a
collapsed roof. A clinic with faulty plumbing. A farmers' cooperative
that farmers can't use. Afghan police and military that, after
training, are incapable of providing the most basic security. And
contractors walking away with millions of dollars in aid money for the
work. The Bush Administration touts the reconstruction effort in
Afghanistan as a success story. Perhaps, in comparison to the
violence-plagued efforts in Iraq and the incompetence-riddled efforts
on the American Gulf Coast, everything is relative. A new report "Afghanistan, Inc.," issued by the non-profit organization CorpWatch,
details the bungled reconstruction effort in Afghanistan.

Massive open-ended contracts have been granted without competitive
bidding or with limited competition to many of the same politically
connected corporations which are doing similar work in Iraq: Kellogg,
Brown & Root (a subsidiary of Halliburton), DynCorp, Blackwater,
The Louis Berger Group, The Rendon Group and many more. Engineers,
consultants, and mercenaries make as much as $1,000 a day, while the
Afghans they employ make $5 per day.

These companies are pocketing millions, and leaving behind a people
increasingly frustrated and angry with the results.

Fariba Nawa, an Afghan-American who returned to her native country to
examine the progress of reconstruction, uncovers some examples of where
the money has (and hasn't) gone, how the system of international aid
works (and doesn't), and what it is really like in the villages and
cities where outsiders are rebuilding the war-torn countryside.

In Afghanistan, Inc., you'll get an inside look at a system gone out of
control, with little accountability and plenty of opportunity for graft
and abuse. It isn't a story you want to read; it's a story you must


CorpWatch investigates and exposes corporate violations of human
rights, environmental crimes, fraud and corruption around the world.
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AMP Section Name:War & Disaster Profiteering