Afghan construction way behind schedule: Report

A French soldier from the 92eme Regiment d'Infanterie (92nd Infantry Battalion) of the French Army battlegroup Wild Geese climbs up a mast to adjust an entangled flag at Forward Operating Base Tora Surobi, in the district of Surobi. France is the fifth largest contributor to NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), which is due to pull out the vast majority of its 130,000 troops by the end of 2014.

WASHINGTON - A new US government report has found major reconstruction projects in Afghanistan are so behind schedule they will not yield results before most combat troops leave, The Washington Post said Monday.

The daily said the report by the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, due to be released Monday, also states that the Afghan government will not have the money or skills to maintain many of the projects.

"Implementing projects that the Afghan government is unable to sustain may be counter­productive" to the US counterinsurgency mission, the inspector general is quoted as saying.

"If goals are set and not achieved, both the US and Afghan governments can lose the populace's support."

The analysis examines the Afghan Infrastructure Fund, which was authorised by Congress in 2010, the paper said. Over the past two years, Congress has invested $800 million into the fund, and the State Department has committed about $1 billion of its funds to related infrastructure programs.

The report comes as NATO countries have already started to withdraw their 130,000 troops after more than 10 years of war and ahead of a 2014 deadline for an end to combat operations.

According to The Post, the report suggests that Washington may have attempted to build too much in a country with limited maintenance resources.

Meanwhile, the US Embassy in Kabul called the document "speculative," the paper said.

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