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Instead of $500,000, Pentagon spent $43m on gas station in Afghanistan

Staff writer |
A congressional watchdog announced that the Department of Defense spent about $43 million to construct a compressed natural gas station in Afghanistan and it may no longer be in service.

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USA Today reports that a Pentagon task force was given a $3 million contract to build the station in Sheberghan, Afghanistan. It then spent $12 million in construction costs and $30 million in "overhead" between 2011 and 2014.

The Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) also found that a similar gas station was built in neighboring Pakistan for $500,000.

The Pentagon's Task Force for Business and Stability Operations, which had $822 million to spend on projects in Afghanistan from 2010 to 2014, hired an Afghan company to build the station in 2011, The Hufftington Post says.

The gas station opened in May 2012, and the task force planned to license it to a private firm willing to build a second station, SIGAR documents explain. While an Afghan firm ran the station in May 2014, its license expired in November 2014. The watchdog and the Defense Department can't confirm that it still operates.

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