Improvised Explosive Devices: Unclear Whether Culvert Denial Systems to Protect Troops are Functioning or Were Ever Installed [open pdf - 1MB]
"Improvised explosive devices (IEDs) are the weapon of choice for threat networks, and there has been an increasing trend in the use of IEDs in Afghanistan. IED events in Afghanistan increased by 42 percent (9,300 to 16,000) from 2009 to 2011, according to Department of Defense (DOD) testimony before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense. According to DOD officials, the number of IED events reportedly increased in 2012 to a total of over 17,000 incidents for the year. Culvert denial systems are designed to prevent access to roadway culverts by insurgents, who can use the culverts to emplace IEDs or other explosives. DOD has funded a number of contracts for the placement of culvert denial systems across Afghanistan. In October 2012, SIGAR [Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction] issued a safety alert letter informing DOD of the results of our preliminary investigation, which found that Afghan contractors either had failed to properly install culvert denial systems, rendering those systems ineffective and susceptible to compromise by insurgents, or did not install them at all. Our preliminary investigation found that at least two Afghan contractors--with a total contract amount of nearly $1 million--in one Afghanistan province have committed fraud by billing the U.S. government for the installation of 250 culvert denial systems that were either never installed or incorrectly installed. The ongoing investigation is looking into whether this apparent failure to perform may have been a factor in the death or injury of several U.S. soldiers. To date, an Afghan contractor and his sub-contractor have both been arrested and charged with fraud and negligent homicide. Our investigators are working with the Afghan Attorney General's Office to arrest the second contractor."
Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, Report No. SP-13-8
Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction: http://www.sigar.mil/