Watchdog: Accountability

Afghanistan watchdog is relentlessly tackling corruption --- with no plans to let up

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Watchdog,The Pentagon,Afghanistan,National Security,Kelly Cohen,Inspectors General,Accountability,SIGAR

A former mob prosecutor and congressional oversight sleuth is making noise when it comes to government accountability.

In his two years as Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, John Sopko has seen a lot of inexplicable waste, according to a profile in Monday's Washington Post.

And his efforts to root out the waste are far from over.

Currently, Sopko's office of 200 staffers has 340 ongoing probes into corruption, fraud and waste.

He "constantly rattles the Pentagon, defense contractors and U.S. assistance agencies, blasting out reports and media releases at the rate of roughly one a week," according to the Post.

Eye-popping dollar figures are often in the headers of the reports, such as "Afghan Ministries Unable to Manage & Account for $1 Billion in US Funds" and “Weaknesses in $223 Million Justice Sector Program.”

Acquaintances describe the 61-year-old as "relentless, irreverent and remarkably candid for a Washington type," the Post reported.

Since 2002, U.S. taxpayers have invested $103 billion in Afghanistan -- more than we've spent on any other single country for that purpose, Sopko says.

So far, he has scored 42 convictions and recouped or saved $256 million, the office says.

Read the full profile here.

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