In its final report to Congress due to be released Wednesday, the bipartisan "Commission on Wartime Contracting" warns that waste and fraud have undermined American diplomacy, fomented corruption in host countries and tarnished the US image abroad.
Specifically, the Pentagon has wasted more than $30 billion on contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan due to shoddy management and a lack of competition.
The commission found that the United States went to war in Afghanistan in 2001 and in Iraq in 2003 without sufficiently preparing to handle the "enormous scale and numbers of contracts."
As a result, "America is over-relying on contractors," they said.
The commission chiefs also warned that another $30 billion or more could be wasted if the Iraqi or Afghan "governments are unable or unwilling to sustain US-funded projects after our involvement ends."
And remember the earlier conclusion from the bi-partisan Iraq Study Group that "most of the costs of the war show up not in the normal budget request but in requests for emergency supplemental appropriations"? The report said: "This means that funding requests are drawn up outside the normal budget process, are not offset by budgetary reductions elsewhere, and move quickly to the White House with minimal scrutiny. Bypassing the normal review erodes budget discipline and accountability."
What this says to me is American wars are an enormous drain on resources. Given that we've achieved our stated objectives there, you'd think our leaders would start calling for an end, if for no other reason, to save money. And you'd think that "Tea Party" folks would be all over this one, since they supposedly care so much about wasteful government spending and the national debt.
Unless they're a bunch of hypocrites or something.