KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Washington is taking back $100 million intended for an Afghan energy infrastructure project, citing unacceptably high levels of corruption in the Afghan government, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced Thursday in a harshly worded statement. The U.S. will still finish the massive project, Pompeo said, which involves five power substations and a maze of transmission lines in southern Afghanistan. It just won’t be spending the money through Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s government, blaming the “Afghan government’s inability to transparently manage U.S. Government resources.” Washington is withholding another $60 million in additional aid, saying Ghani’s government has been neither transparent nor accountable in its public spending. The U.S. is also cutting off all financial assistance to the Afghan government’s Monitoring and Evaluation Committee, saying it’s not doing its job and “is incapable of being a partner in the international effort to build a better future for the Afghan people.” After 18 years of war and more than $800 billion dollars spent in Afghanistan — the biggest chunk on security, including the cost of U.S. forces in Afghanistan — this is one of the rare times Washington has withdrawn money from the Afghan government, which is almost… Read full this story
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