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U.S. spends $3 million on boats for landlocked Afghanistan

An audit revealed that the United States spent more than $3 million on eight patrol boats for police in landlocked Afghanistan.

Although the purchase was made in 2010, no boats have arrived in Afghanistan and the cost per boat — more than $375,000 — is far more than the $50,000 that customers pay for similar boats in the United States, the Washington Post reported.

The report from the U.S. Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction said the boats were to be used to patrol the Amu Darya River between Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. They were bought to move government supplies and “to deter smuggling and illegal entry into Afghanistan,” according to Gen. Harold Greene.

Nine months after the boats were bought, U.S. and NATO forces decided they wouldn’t be necessary. By then, it was too late because the government had spent $3 million on them. Nearly four years later, they are still sitting in storage at a Virginia naval base.

The Post said the reason the boats were deemed unnecessary so soon after they were bought remains a mystery.

“The list of unanswered questions is particularly troubling, given the fact … that this program had been an important national security priority for the Afghan National Security Forces prior to its cancellation,” John Sopko, the inspector general, said in a letter to U.S. military officials.

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