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tv   Washington Journal John Sopko  CSPAN  November 27, 2017 2:32pm-3:23pm EST

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discrimination training for all house members and staff. you can watch the house live on c-span, and the senate like good c-span2. live coverage continues on c-span at 3:00 eastern with the white house briefing. press secretary sarah sanders will answer questions about tax reform and the presidents visit to capitol hill tomorrow. until then here's some of today's "washington journal." >> host: taking us a deeper insight afghanistan is john, , e special inspector general for afghanistan reconstruction also known asl segar. thank you for joining us. remind us of how your office came to be, what the role is. >> guest: first of august a pleasure to be and admire you for putting on these three hours on afghanistan. it is our longest serving war and we need more people to focus on it. i think that's very important.
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milo agency with the tobacco sounding acronym was great in 2008. basically congress realized that we're spending a lot of money there. we didn't do a very good job of overseeing how the moneyon was spent in iraq so they created a special agency. we are an inspector general office. we do audits, criminal investigations. about 200 of a. >> we we only focus on afghanistan and we only focus on reconstruction. one of the reasons congress did this is because we've spent more money on reconstruction in afghanistan than we've ever done anywhere in the world. we spent more money in afghanistan than we did on the entire marshall plan to rebuild europe after world war ii. so congress assumed anything correctly that they needed a special agency just to look at it and we've been in existence since then time you put a regular reports, how often does
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the seeker office put out these reports to congress tressa we put our quarterly reports, unlike the other inspector general who put up some annual prep we our quarterly reports plus we issue lessons learned report on a regular basis. we issue audits investigations and inspection reports on a regular basis. >> host: what is the summary of this report, what is new and different? >> guest: the quarterly report summarizes what is happen l significantly on reconstruction for the last quarter. we are required to do that by the statute that set us up. what was important there was we focused on the classification issue whichio was new. they classified a lotot of information that has been unclassifiedbe before you we alo focused on the casualty issue, the amount of territory under control by the afghan government which is decreased to the lowest
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level since we started collecting data on that. and again we focus on the economic issue. the economy hasn't turned around forhe them. they are facing a bulge in population they don't have jobs or the economy. that's the main for us the report. >> host: we will keep the phone numbers onn the bottom of the screen for john sopko, and we will get your calls going in just a couple of minutes. if you think the u.s. should stay, in afghanistan, -- you've been added in this particular position with his office come up on the six years now. how would you describe the overall condition of the country currently as we head into 2018 in addition to the effort by the u.s. and the allies over the years to build up that country?
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>> guest: it's not a black-and-white issue. there's a mix, a mix of some success and some failures. overall, the security situation has deteriorated over the six years that i've been doing this job. although it stabilize into a stalemate now. we have a better working relationship with the new afghan government. they are very cooperative. they are interested in changing. they are interested in changing their military and they are also interested in attacking the serious problem of corruption which is rampant throughout the country. you are not going to win unless you do with the corruption issue. i think they're serious about now addressing the narcotics problem. that's the 800-pound gorilla which i think i was quoted as in the room, where the taliban and insurgency that most of the
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funding from the drug trades because you don't do anything about that we are never going to win. >> host: in the report before we get to call security status of funds section here and headline says afghanistan reconstructing, reconstruction money pipeline.e you have a chart which makes everything explain what we are looking at here and what the significance is. >> guest: that particular chartca tries to break down just that reconstruction number. if you look at the were fighting which is i think the higher figure you have quoted the comes from brown and harvard university, that's about 700 billion they're talking about. but the actual reconstruction, that's the money spent to pay salaries of afghan soldiers and police and civil servants. that's to build roads. that's to pay the salaries of
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the civil servants. that's to build clinics, et cetera. that's what that chart breaks down. just how much money is spent for secured security issues, about 70 billion of that 120 billion goes to the police and the security forces and the military. and then the rest goes to either humanitarian aid, civilian operations or governance. >> host: what is your sense coming out of a recent thread on the house side of where congress is on afghanistan and how it views the current effort? >> guest: it's hard for me to speak for allfo of congress. the subcommittee, a very important subcommittee of a very important committee, the oversight and government reform committee in the house. but from talking to members and i a think even talking to citizens, i think there's a war weariness. there's a weariness about the money. there's a question of when it's going to end and there's a question that when we're going to get it right.
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we are cautiously optimistic with the new strategy that we're going to get it right. i think that strategy is more realistic. it's based upon what's going on on the ground right now rather than arbitrary timelines which i think was an accurate criticism. >> host: to the office and your reports put out have any connection to the white house? this is written for congress that does the white house read these reports? do the act anything? do they take recommendations? >> guest: i can speak for the white house itself but but i cn speak for the administration. the reports gopo to the berries agencies we look at as well as congress. secretary of state, secretary of defense and any other agency working in afghanistan. and they do read them. they do respond. i think were cautiously optimistic because of medevac we're very happy in the last six months the reaction that the department of defense has had toured many ofe our
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secretary mattis issued a policy statement all of the senior leadership based upon one of our reports. it was report dealing with camouflage, uniforms which were poorly decided. we may have wasted millions on it so we're getting a big response to with getting a very positive response. secretary dunford, excuse me, chairman of the joint chiefs general dunford in recent ethnic comment about how to use our information. the one thing we offer is with institutional memory. a lot of the agencies don't anymore. the people serving in afghanistan, although some have gone through multiple tours, that many stay six months, nine months, a year at most. we have people in afghanistan who are serving two or three years and, of course, our agencies been around for a while. people rely on our institutional
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memory also. >> host: calls continue to come in this morning for john sopko, the special inspector general. chris, your of first from katy, texas. good morning. >> caller: thank you so much for taking my call. i'm calling with regard to the drug trade and the mineral deposits in afghanistan. the government in 2001 said this isn't a war, this is not a war choice but it's a war of necessity. both presidents bush and obama reference 9/11 and i think it's important to note the timing of military action in afghanistan as you know came 27 days after 9/11. but since 2001 the production has increased providing upwards of 90% of the non-pharmaceutical grade opiate of the world. so that originated, , the world market originated in afghanistan
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affecting europe, central asia, russia, et cetera. it's importantgi to note that precious mineral. deposits including the huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, among others, you know, are important to note the critical instructional melts like lithium. it's been said that afghanistan has been characterized as the saudi arabia of lithium. and karzai even claim the mineral deposits there are worth upwards of 30 trillion, a quantity that would exceed tota global mining revenues by a factor of approximately 60%. these are my questions. you characterize the situation as a stalemate. does that indicate that our shuttle operation is going according to g plan? and in termsan of war, is this t business as usual? it seems with our military on
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the ground protecting these assets, protecting the opiate deals and the width of the countries like china mining the assets and using their cheap labor to benefit global trade with the united states. >> host: thank you for calling. john sopko? >> guest: first of all i don't do politics. i can say based upon my experience and expense of my office and were looking at, we're doing a lessons learned report on how we got into afghanistan and the strategy and planning for that we had seen no evidence that we went into afghanistan either to prove or capitalize on this scourge of opium here there's no evidence of that. so i can say that much. as for why went in on extract is for the minerals, we've gotten very little if anything, from the minerals, or we call extract is which can also mean oil and
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natural gas. so that again we have found no evidence. we've seen nothing that would corroborateld that. we tryav to develop the extractives industry so that the afghan people will do better so they can start exporting something other than drugs. in response to the implication that there's a shuttle operation, i'm not aware of any. >> host: you mentioned you don't do policy process. but to the caller and several other callers in the program so far, we talked about opium. we talked a a little bit aboute recent bombing campaign, again some of the processing plants there. does that action affected your process, , the process of medice what's going on? >> guest: well, look, the
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stated policy is done by the policymakers. we lookk at how you can effectuate and how you can succeed on that policy. so the government gives us the policy, we seeee how you can do. when you talk about narcotics, we've been harping on this for years, that you are never going to win the war if that's your objective on the taliban and thus you cut the funding. and our sources and government sources and other experts we've dealt with have said now, general nicholson had said publicly that over 60% of the funding for the taliban comes from that. we are stating you got to do something about it if your objective is to win with the taliban. now, whether you should do bombing or maybe you should use dea, thosese are processes that the policymakers will decide on. we are glad that general nicholson has now got the authority and he can focusus on
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it, and we are glad equally important that the afghan government is willing to goth in that direction, too. so the prior regime in afghanistan was not interested in confronting narcotics. and unless youwa have cooperatie government you will never win a narcotics. >> host: ledger from spokane, washington, now. spokane, what is your name? >> caller: steve. >> host: go ahead. >> caller: good morning. thank you for taking my i kind of want to echo chris is concerned because i was under the impression that prior to 9/11 the taliban religious doctrine did not allow drugs or alcohol taliban was actually, were they not allowing opium growth in taliban controlled areas? now they're doing it to finance it because they can't get but the primary financing back there was to pakistan and iran and iraq in different areas.
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there were trying to play their own political gains within the taliban. so now we are being told that the taliban were the ones who started the opium issue. i truly believe it was marketine plans from insurance industries right from the start. chief narcotics. now they've got major portion of america basically hooked on opioids to the doctor's office is mostly, and now being told it's a different story. correct me if i'm wrong, was the taliban against drugs and alcohol and does the taliban about opium growth in their controlled regions before 9/11? >> guest: for a brief time the taliban stop the production of opium. i think they did it for political reasons. he wanted to get recognition by the international community. the taliban at the time was a government. so they could raise funding,
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raise money through various and sundry methods. but they did for a brief period right before the attack, 911. >> host: how powerful is the taliban today? speak to us about the land they had taken aback. >> guest: that's one of the significant findings of our ladies quarterlyte report. the taliban have increased, this is the largest, i won't say larges, but the most control that over the country we identified in the quarterly report this year. it's hard to identify because there's areas that the control, districts they can control and districts that influencenf on. likewise, the same thing for the government. but right now i think our data is about as of august 2017 there were 54 districts under
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insurgent control, and increase of nine districts over the last six months. so about 3.7 million afghans, which is 11% of the population now live in districts under insurgent control or influence. >> host: general nicholson we read wants to retake 80% of the territory in two years but realistic? >> guest: it could be done. it's going to be a hard job andi a hard task, but he has a new strategy on that and he has additional troops for the training, , and is also additil authorities. so we are again cautiously optimistic. my job is basically the referee. i'm here to see what happens and report on it, so we wish him the best and we are optimistic. >> host: moving on to mark in whitehall pennsylvania for john sopko. good morning, mark. >> caller: good morning. how are you doing?
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just wanted to give you a call. there's a few issues. as far as i get my information from like different college professors and try to keep my eyes open, different things like that. let's see, the clinton machine supposedly light and dine the taliban, this is according to one of the professors here in lehigh valley, to get transfer fees for the happy pipeline. i'm going to take a segue -- the noble peace prize winner, only fought over natural resources. villages want to get into the department of defense. oh, , okay, so then there was 91 which i'm going to be frank i don't believe we were, what we're told her i believe the conspiracy was the one we were shown on tv and the truth lies elsewhere but i'm not going to get into that.
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so there's also another thing, department of defense, okay then, , if a going to be over there for 15, 20, 30 years of muslim just because the department of offense because i also watched c-span3 much and as far as actual terrorist attacks in this country, very slippery just been a lot on the corporate media you'll see a lot of breaking news and shootings and things like that but it's not the taliban that's over here. if you look at the stats on terrorist attacks you will see that really there really are not any. there's a lot of fear mongering that goes on at the corporate media. >> host: market, let me jump in your make your point. question for our guestsqu specifically? >> caller: yeah, i mean, why stay over there forever and ever and ever? you, we don't want to top talk vietnam. that was bad enough. naturally we don't have the
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draft anymore but, i mean, as far as i'm concerned, why do we just let these countries if they want to wheel and deal with the oil and stuff like that and get, me, wide riff to be over there with our military boot proving that we're going to use -- >> host: we get the point. we want to move on to some other callers. >> guest: real quickly again,, market, these are allll good questions. you should ask thehe policymake, the administration and congress. i don't do policy. i do process. the policy as stated by every administration since 911 is we are going in to find the people who attacked us, and i beg to disagree, mark, i actually do think it wasn't a grand conspiracy. we were attacked. and we would need to find the that and we went in there to help create a host government, and afghan government, that g could contine
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to keep the terrorists out of that area so itd would not be used to attack us again, or attack any of our allies. and that is the t stated goal as general mattis and as the president has data recently, and we support the coal. >> host:t: harris is calling from gainesville florida now for john sopko. good morning. >> caller: i just have three real short questions. i read his report quarterly and, in fact, it's in front of me. number one is, you met how many casualties that are? why do you admit that? and do you have any idea what of the civilian casualty caused by our bombing and the national governments? secondly, your report has always been very critical of in the sf.
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in lieu of that, you are saying that general nicholson is going to change the course of the war over there. if we give them $70 billion a year and they can't even carry a gun, i mean, what's the use? again, this this is a policy mr but in your assessment, why does general nicholson is so dependent on that? and the last thing is, in your own process of writing these reports, do you get embedded with the u.s. military, or you just go free over the with a backpack and start checking things? thank you so much, thank you for calling. how about the first point? how do you t do your work? >> guest: well, we work with the military. the military will provide security for us when we go out into the field. we also get security on the state department. so we don't and bad per se, but they provide security where they
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can. but we are limited because of the security situation may have in fact, is very insecure. we don't just so backpacks on and wander around the country. so we take security very seriously so we limited in doing that we also have civil society organizations that we have trained and we use them. we also use satellite where we can, and we collected data from other people operating in the country. so that's how we work. we have about 30, 35 people there full-time all the time. we have the largest oversight presence of any government agency. >> host: on a 70-point spent a year, i don't want to confuse the listener or your audience. when we talk about 120 billion or the larger figure, that is spin from 2001 to date. what we're spending just on
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reconstruction here, anything we noted in the quarterly, is we have about 7.42 billion in the pipeline. that's been authorized and appropriated but not yet spent. we spent approximately five, $6 billion a year. that's what we assume will be spent this year on reconstruction. so it's not the 70 billion per year. i think it was a question about how general nicholson -- >> host: want a simplification on civilian casualties. >> guest: sure. we site, we don't have the actual data. we site the u.n. organization which collects data on a regular basis and theyco are very trustworthy obviously, organization able to get up to a lot of places we don't. and they noted that there was a 2% increase in civilian casualties from pro-government, that's coalition and afghan air operations, in the first nine
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months. now, overall the number of casualties have decreased a bit this quarter, but those caused by the afghan and coalition forces has increaseded a little. >> host: more about your work.r there's headline in the "washington examiner," and elsewhere, a concerning classification of data to the selected u.s. military classifies afghanistan data as taliban may gain a piece of u.s. military is sharply restricting. the information that the pentagon watchdog can the public about the key measures of t success in the wa, talking about your office. what's going on? >> guest: well, this quarter they started hustling a lot of information that we had been previously reporting publicly for years. and some of it includes casualties by the afghans, force strength, operational readiness,
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attrition figures, and even the number of women they have in their military police. and we again don't do classification. we were a bit concerned by this and our concern is that this is overclassification. and we are a strong proponent of transparency. we feel that the american people, you, the taxpayer, should know how your money is been spent. and by classifying this we can't tell if we are winning or losing. we can'tll tell if that money is actually being used or wasted. and so that's why we strong objected to this latest round of classification. >> it is a memorandum written from the research directorate to you about all of this, about classified or restricted information. can folks read this report publicly? and if so, where?
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>> guest: the quarterly report is public. it's available on our website, and that ethical report. as o a medic all of our reports, unless they are classified or otherwise would implicate security issues, all of these reports are available on the website. >> host: we have about 30 minutes left with john sopko who was general inspector in afghanistan. deborah is next from massachusetts. good morning. >> caller: good morning. i want to focus on what you just said quote, we can't tell whether we are winning or losing. okay. that just goes to the heart of the problem. this is not about afghanistan. this is about the five u.s. weapons dealers who --
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[inaudible] in selling weapons systems to the hot zone, and we're in a hot zone. there's a reason for that. because we are selling those weapons systems, and those come back and kill our troops. number two, you said that you can only quote the amount of money for reconstruction. ..
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will make a real good salary but they make huge profits and that's all i have to say. it's very simple to figure this out. you were just there you now as a smokescreen for the rest of us so that what is going on here. our troops are being killed by the weapons systems that we are selling to the middle east countries. >> host: john sopko your reaction to that. >> guest: we are more than a smokescreen but that's obviously the caller is raising issues going beyond my jurisdiction and my country. but again, we give you the facts on afghanistan and reconstruction. the other inspectors general to were working in other areas
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hopefully will give you the facts also and i am a firm believer in you know i think it was lincoln who said the people have the facts, we will be free. that's what this is all about. was gopal is calling from new york city. good morning paula. >> caller: good morning, can you hear me? i want to thank you for your work serve. an interesting report indicated the planes that were built from italy at think c. 27a the cost to half a billion dollars ended up eating scrap metal and i'm just wondering first of all was anybody ever punished for that and if not, why not? it just seems so incredibly outrageous and just the amount of money that is being spent and a country that had a very small economy to begin with, you expect to see a lot more that would have come out of it. i just think it's incredibly
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disturbing. imagine how long this war has been going on and how much money has been spent in first of all just one example, did anybody get punished and if not, why not not? and how do we think about that much money being spent in that type of small account in me -- economy. i really like to hear your response. >> host: thank you paul. mr. sopko. >> guest: dairy good questions and i wish i could tell you somebody was punished on the purchase of those airplanes that were purchased out of a yard in italy and the planes were basically deathtraps. they couldn't fly. we have an ongoing investigation criminal in nature that they can't really discuss in great detail. we also have an audit that we have initiated and hopefully we will be able to answer the questions but i'm outraged.
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i get angry when i see money like that wasted and we will get to the bottom of that i promise. even if we don't bring criminal charges we like dennis i why the taxpayer was so much money and the afghans got nothing out of it. it now as for another issue you have there and that is about accountability that is one of the most serious issues. i think if he read all of our reports no one ever was held accountable for wasting money and if you look at every one of our reports and every time i've testified every time we are not holding people accountable. why is that? i wish i had the answer. i think it goes back to, we have a lousy h.r. system and our human resources, the problems we see in afghanistan are not because the people sent to
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afghanistan, the troops, the soldiers, the foreign service officers, the aid officers. it's not that they are evil. it's the fact that they are stupid. what we have done is we have it in them a box of broken tools and those broken tools are the same tools that you see when you do a series on the va, on health and human services, on the irs and all the other governmental agencies. our h.r. system is busted. our rotation of troops or rotation of people is busted and how we reward people. if our reward system is upside down we weren't waist which is basically what we do in afghanistan and we do in the united states too domestically. we reward contracts and officers by how much money they put in
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contracts, not whether the contract is good or not and as long as that is our mentality you are not going to punish a guy for us tending to $500 million on airplanes adult fly. he actually probably got a promotion and that is the whole system. we have to address the bigger issues here. we just see them on steroids when you're in a war zone like afghanistan. >> host: before we go back to college on sopko you brought this poster and sigar at the top in red letters. what is the hotline? >> guest: a hotline is how we get information about cases. that is something we really appreciate. we see this in afghanistan and we also see this in the united states where people will call our hotline and our hotline also answers and ari. >> host: let's hear from jack
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in mississippi. thank you for waiting. you are on the john sopko. >> caller: thank you. the 49-11 the united states was backing afghan. they broke russia. and now we are and they are fighting them. they are going to break us. another question you are speaking about is the opium trade. why don't they cut them out? another thing is what happened to the $8 million he came from a state hillary clinton's watch what. >> host: mr. sopko? >> guest: the $8 billion under clinton secretary i don't know
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what the caller is referring to that the issue was we really haven't had a strategy and we really have not had a willing government in afghanistan until the recent government so hopefully that will change but you are correct we just did not have a good strategy on how to deal with the opium problem, which is a difficult problem. i don't want to make light of that. we haven't had much success in addressing drugs anywhere in the world so to address the narcotics problem during the war is going to be difficult. we didn't have a strategy and we didn't have the will to do anything about it. >> host: in brooklyn, fred, good morning. >> caller: good morning mr. sopko. i'm sorry to bother you. i have just one single question. i'm very familiar with afghanistan. i have been around it.
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it's a dry country. there is very limited water available. why can't we pay the farmers to cultivate opium so they don't cultivate it and get the money in advance because why can't we do that? >> guest: well it's a little more difficult than that and i think the caller says there are a lot of areas that are aired in a lot of areas that are aerated. they have canals and we have helped them build canals but it's not as easy as just creating a new crop and we are actually going to have a major report coming out in the next few months looking at what lessons we have learned in addressing the problem. and again because we don't have a strategy we had a hit-and-miss
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series of programs. we do security programs here. we do canal spare, we would do crop substitutions and others districts and we never stayed long enough to do it so it's a little more complicated than that. rather than give away our results on that report which we haven't finished yet. we are still running it by the agency, we are going to ask for comments, we will wait until that report comes out. >> host: john sopko the former state and federal prosecutor served as chief oversight counsel with the select committee on oversight house committee on energy and commerce the select committee of homeland security and the permanent subcommittee on investigations and a partner at akin's strauss howard and filled. he left the firm six years ago to take on this position. is your position have a --
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>> guest: i serve at the pleasure of the present and the agency itself, the temporaries agency so well made go when they reconstruction funds fall below i believe it's $260 million we have seven in the pipeline so we may be around for a while. i'm glad we are temporary. >> host: how many people worked a few at sigar? >> guest: we have about 190 people. i think our resources are adequate. we keep getting asked to do more things by congress and that's part of our job so if they are more demands we may need a few more dollars to do that. as long as we are there and we are spending this money and we are useful than then we may want to address that but right now we are satisfied with our resources. >> host: we talked earlier about resources to your work and a challenge.
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the afghanistan watchdog it leads. john sopko special inspector general. many officials call it on plastic claims. the defense had requires inspector general overseeing a key fund for guinness and for inspection standards for all of the reports and other products of for you, what is different in terms of what congress is looking to do and how will it impact you? >> guest: that story is misleading because we really follow the same standards of the requirement statute so there is really no change. we always follow the standards and so i don't see much difference and we are glad there is a supply to all of the agents. we only help the dod ig.
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we will also be able to meet those standards. we follow a strict standards as we can. >> host: let's move on to carrie in new hampshire. good morning terry, thank you for waiting. >> caller: yes, i was curious a couple of former callers mentioned the drug issue and when he first started the segment you mentioned this won't be won until we solve the drug problem there but we can even solve the drug problem in the united states. how do you expect to solve a major issue like that when we can't even get a handle on what's going on here in the united states? if that's what it's going to take whether we should stay there or get out. if we can't win that war than i think we should probably get out. let's deal with our problems here in our country. >> guest: my response is again i don't run the program to fight
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drugs. i just look at how they are carried out and i agree with the caller. it's a very difficult task and up until now we haven't had a strategy and we haven't had a commitment to do much on the drug issue so i will leave it to the experts at state and dod on how to address that problem and will see how well it's doing. >> host: moving on to fold maryland, good morning. >> caller: john i have seen you testify before congress and i share your frustration but i don't share your gray hair. the question i'm wanting to ask is basically overall on the temporary agencies. you said you have lessons learned. are there lessons that have been applied and the other question i want to ask is you have sigar in
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the special inspector general's. i was wondering has there have been a comparison between the two temporary agencies and what has been applied? was piqued my just as your comment saying we aired dealing with growth in tools and nothing is being done as long as we have a strategy on unworkable system to be applied so i would like to get your feedback on that on what you feel could be the result in my last question is one temporary agency is close down. when are you writing a book? >> guest: well i don't know about writing a book. people said if i did it would be a comedy but going back to sigar which is, explain to the
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audience the special inspector general for iraq reconstruction. that was set up. stuart bowen ran that for a number of years and they are now out. they did do a number of lessons learned reports. they did one major lessons learned report. what we decided to do is to do discrete once the first one dealt with corruption and what have we learned about that and what are the recommendations? is that the one dealt with the security sector which is basically how do you train advise-and-assist the afghan police and the military. we are going to be looking at economic development with the next one coming out as well as narcotics. i don't know if anyone has compared sigar's findings. we have utilize the information that sigar identified in iraq.
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so we have kind of utilize those and i think that is as far as i can go in again i don't know if anyone has compared the two reports. >> host: let's hear from daniel now. daniel is an tacoma park, maryland. good morning. >> caller: the only reason where they are is because we will get a return on our investment insofar we have was voice to one or $2 trillion in both countries iraq and afghanistan and we are never going to get our money back. in high school when we were in afghanistan and there are 20 or 30 more years and i don't want to see any more troops being killed. i guess your job is finding the cost to reconstruct that country. i don't think it's worth it in the end of most americans are against us being there.
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it's that we have had both democrats and republican presidents do nothing to leave those countries. >> host: thank you daniel. any thoughts? >> guest: again that the policy issue. i appreciate the caller's concerns and again i don't do policy. i just present the facts on how we are carrying out those plans. >> host: how many times have you been a gamma stand in the last six years? >> guest: i don't have an exact number. i think it's close to 20. i try to go over and stay anywhere from a week to two weeks. >> host: what's it like to be there? >> guest: you don't get around this much is he used to because the security situation has deteriorated. he basically stay in the u.s. embassy and getting out i usually visit with the senior ministers office and i tried to
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get out as much as possible. i've learned over the years the further you get out from the center more likely you're going to get the truth so we do that. i meet with the president and ceo of afghanistan and try to work with them and tried to talk with them about issues. as i alluded to before the afghans know who sigar is maybe too well because i actually have a target on my back over there. our reports are being used by the current government to do reforms in so they are fighting the same corrupt influences that we are identifying and people may write bad articles about me here but over there they tend to shoot you and a number of investigators who are working for the afghan anticorruption police who have started to identify big fish have been
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assassinated. it's a totally good for the environment over there that president ghani and the ceo are facing. they are facing people who will kill you if you identify their corruption. we try to work with them and we try to educate them because we have a lot of sources and we try to help them but it's dangerous. >> host: from the report, the sigar reported in october ultimately it says the u.s. was not able to provide nationwide security especially as a larger threat anticipated after the draw down the coalition military forces. tell us more. >> guest: well we have the capability of training and advising and assisting. it's just as we got into this we had never done something like this before. usually her security sector is and i believe i testified and cited it a four it's providing a new weapons system or i.t. system to a developed country to
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korea, to japan, too whatever. here you are dealing with a country who has been at war for 30 some years, very little infrastructure. the military police were basically destroyed over the last few years so it was very difficult. we underestimated the difficulty difficulty. we also did not align our capabilities to their needs and we have still got that problem. so those are some of the big key issues. we didn't really utilize our nato allies as well as we could have. posted on tour last few calls for john sopko. david calling from california. david you were in the air. >> caller: thank you to c-span. i want to comment first on how the guestbook out late on the military-industrial complex and
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keeping the wars going so weapons can be made in these companies can make hundreds of millions of dollars. mr. sopko i want to ask you a specific question. i've had a couple of things from "fox news" and "cnn" about inspector general's coming up on the wage fraud report. >> hope everyone had a happy thanksgiving and had the opportunity to enjoy down time with your friends and family. you see we are quickly transitioning from thanksgiving to christmas season here at the white house. the first ibm failed this year's decorations and she personally selected and was personally involved in every detail. the same time-honored traditions were recognized by


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