The United States has cited education — for which it has spent more than $1 billion — as one of its main achievements in Afghanistan. U.S. officials repeatedly used impressive statistics — the number of schools built, girls enrolled, textbooks distributed, teachers trained and dollars spent — to help justify the 13 years and more than 2,000 Americans killed since the United States invaded.
But a BuzzFeed News investigation has found those claims to be massively exaggerated, filled with schools, teachers and students that exist only on paper, and the U.S. government has known for years that it has been giving incorrect information.
BuzzFeed News acquired the GPS coordinates and contractor information for every school that the (USAID) claims to have refurbished or built since 2002, as well as Department of Defense records of school constructions funded by the U.S. military. They went and spot-checked 50 schools and found that at least a tenth of the schools no longer exist, are not operating or were never built in the first place.