Watchdog: Afghan Contractor Undermines U.S. Efforts to Improve Security

WASHINGTON -- A government watchdog says an Afghan contractor bungled the construction of police stations there so badly the buildings can't be used, undermining U.S.-led efforts to improve the country's security forces.

In a report to be released Wednesday, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction says the company, Basirat Construction, routinely cut corners with low-quality concrete, substandard roofing, uninsulated windows, and plastic plumbing. The stations were built in the country's violent south.

The report also faults the Army Corps of Engineers for failing to properly oversee the work, while paying Basirat close to $5 million.

In the report, the Corps of Engineers says security challenges made oversight of the police station construction difficult.