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Here are the five weirdest waste of US tax dollars in Afghanistan.

Here are five of the weirdest wastes of US tax dollars in Afghanistan


The War in Afghanistan has not only been long, it has been remarkably costly.

The U.S. government has not only shouldered the costs of fighting the conflict, it has also appropriated approximately $117.26 billion to rebuild the war-torn country.

Billions of this money has been misused to the detriment of Americans taxpayers, according to the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR). Here are five of the weirdest examples of misspent funds.

1. $93.81 million on the wrong camouflage

The Department of Defense (DOD) has spent approximately $93.81 million to buy the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces camouflage uniforms.

Unfortunately, it purchased woodland patterns best suited for forested areas, but only 2.1 percent of Afghanistan is covered by forest.

Even to the untrained eye, the dark, woody uniforms stick out against Afghanistan's generally dry, arid landscape.

"[D]esert designs don't work well in woodland areas and woodland patterns perform poorly in the desert," Dr. Timothy O'Niell, founder of West Point's Engineering Psychology program, told SIGAR in June.

According to a SIGAR report, the woodland pattern was chosen because the former Afghan defense minister liked one of the patterns on a manufacturer website.

The U.S. government did not have rights to the pattern, meaning the cost of procurement for the desired pattern was significantly higher.

2. Half a million on a melting gun range

Nearly $500,000 was spent on a dry-fire gun range for Afghan police which existed for only four months after its walls melted in the rain, according to SIGAR chief John Sopko.

It was later discovered that the contractor responsible for building the facility used shoddy materials and did not abide by normal construction standards. The range later had to be demolished, adding an extra burden on U.S. taxpayers.

3. $34 million on a failed soybean farming project

The Department of Agriculture (USDA) determined in 2010 that Afghanistan needed a new cash crop.

Afghanistan is infamous for poppy farming, which is used in the production of drugs like heroin, so the USDA decided to introduce soybeans.

The idea was good in theory, but Afghanistan is known for being unsuitable for soybean production.

"Afghans have apparently never eaten or grown soybeans before," according to a document provided to Circa by SIGAR.

4. A $300 million dollar dam that has been under construction for half a century

The U.S. government decided in the 1950s to construct a dam near Kajaki in southern Afghanistan as part of an effort to modernize the southern Asian nation.

The dam remains unfinished, however, and has run up a bill somewhere between $200 and $300 million dollars.

Kajaki is now the longest running works projects in U.S. history, according to SIGAR.

"It has taken longer to build than the pyramids," said the document provided to Circa.

5. Nearly half a billion on "death trap" airplanes

The U.S. had to create a new Afghan air force from scratch after invading the foreign nation in 2001, so it bought 20 used C-27A cargo aircraft (which are sometimes called G222s) for the Afghans at a cost of $486 million.

Afghan pilots referred to the plane as a "death trap," while one pilot noted it had a habit of shedding parts on landing, Sopko told NBC News.

The program was later axed after spare parts became too hard to find, and the planes were later scrapped and sold for $32,000.

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