Target: US Army Chief of Public Affairs, Brigadier General Gary J. Volesky
Goal: Stop using US taxpayer money to provide contracts to supporters of insurgents in Afghanistan
John F. Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR), recently released some alarming news: the United States government has awarded contracts for reconstruction to companies who support and aid militants in Afghanistan, making them essentially enemies of the US. In his letter to Congress prefacing the report, Sopko wrote of many concerns with government contracts and expenditures, concluding, “I am deeply troubled that the U.S. military can pursue, attack, and even kill terrorists and their supporters, but that some in the U.S. government believe we cannot prevent these same people from receiving a government contract. I feel such a position is not only legally wrong, it is contrary to good public policy and contrary to our national security goals in Afghanistan.”
Despite this concern from the official supervising reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan (SIGAR’s mission can be read on the very first page of the report), an Army spokesperson has responded that “‘The Army Procurement Fraud Branch did receive and review the 43 recommendations late last year, but the report did not include enough supporting evidence to initiate suspension and debarment under Federal Acquisition Regulations.'”²
By signing this petition, you will call attention to the wasteful, illegal, and immoral practices of the Army’s reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan. You will make clear to the US Army that this lack of accountability and transparency, tantamount to irresponsibility and disrespect for Afghani citizens as well as US taxpayers, is entirely unacceptable.
Dear Brigadier General Volesky,
The Special Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR)’s recent quarterly report demonstrates that current reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan are not only wasteful and irresponsible in terms of time and US taxpayer money, but also counterproductive. The US Army cannot expect to assist in any meaningful reconstruction in Afghanistan when it awards government contracts to organizations who have known ties to insurgent groups.
I am calling on you to terminate existing contracts with these organizations, and to refuse to establish ties in the future with groups that provide support to militants. I am urging you to publicly renounce the nonsensical, wasteful expenditures of the reconstruction program, so that the United States can move forward and truly ally itself with Afghani citizens in helping to rebuild a peaceful, united society, rather than perpetuating the circumstances of war and corruption.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: greatpowerpolitics.com