It's rare these days to find something on which both Democrats and Republicans agree. But the recent report of the Commission on Wartime Contracting revealing a gross waste of money by private entities employed to help carry out the U.S. mission in Iraq and Afghanistan, has both Sen. Scott Brown, the lone Republican in the Bay State delegation, and Rep. John Tierney, the 6th District Democrat, howling in disgust.
The report found that over the past decade between $30 billion and $60 billion in money appropriated for military and recovery operations in those countries has either been wasted or, worse, gone to the enemy.
According to The Associated Press, "U.S. military authorities in Kabul believe $360 million has ended up in the hands of the Taliban criminals and power brokers with ties to both."
How? Again according to the AP, "The money is typically lost when insurgents and warlords threaten Afghan subcontractors with violence unless they pay for protection."
Brown and Tierney have both proposed legislation in their respective chambers that would more effectively monitor the uses to which U.S. resources are put during a time of war.
While some might say their initiatives come too late given the fact that both wars are winding down, there will no doubt be other conflicts in other parts of the world into which the U.S. pours billions of dollars.
The aim should not only be to prevent a repeat of the shameful experience revealed by the report, but to keep a close eye on all endeavors, foreign and domestic, that necessitate massive expenditures of federal money.
Given our current debt load, Congress ought to make sure that every dollar spent, regardless of the circumstances, is spent wisely.