These are the facts. At some point, someone somewhere in the US government had an amazing idea: why not build a compressed natural gas (CNG) filling station in Afghanistan? Forty-three million taxpayer dollars later, the city of Sheberghan, in the far north of the country, got its gas station. But, according to the watchdog agency probing Afghanistan reconstruction spending, nobody seems to know — or wants to admit — who signed off on the project or how its costs spiraled so completely out of control.
The whole thing is so strange and wrongheaded that the crazily high price tag — more than 100 times what a similar facility would cost in neighboring Pakistan — is not even the worst thing the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) found.