Two reports released this week starkly criticize many of the decisions the U.S. government made in response to the attack on 9/11.
The first, created by Commission on Wartime Contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan was released on Monday. It states over the past decade at least $30 billion, and possibly as much as $60 billion have been wasted on contractors in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. In a Post op-ed, the report’s authors write:
Tens of billions of taxpayer dollars have been wasted through poor planning, vague and shifting requirements, inadequate competition, substandard contract management and oversight, lax accountability, weak interagency coordination, and subpar performance or outright misconduct by some contractors and federal employees.
The second report, released Wednesday by the Bipartisan Policy Center, states that the U.S. failed to implement changes recommended by the 9/11 Commission. The Post’s Jason Ukman writes:
Of the 41 recommendations, nine have been inadequately implemented, or not implemented at all, according to the authors of the report, who include former members of the 9/11 Commission. Among their concerns is that the Transportation Security Administration still lacks reliable explosives detection technology and capacity to detect concealed weapons; that the director of national intelligence still has not been provided with enough authority; and that not all states have met federal benchmarks aimed at establishing standardized secure IDs.
As Ukman points out, with the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approaching, we'll likely see many more retrospective studies that try to make sense of where we were and where we’ve gotten to. These first two don’t bode well for the findings.