AFGHANISTAN - The special inspector general for Afghan Reconstruction provided U.S. Forces - Afghanistan with a SIGAR alert letter regarding the design of the Weesh-Chaman border crossing facility. The alert letter identifies two areas of concern with the design of the facility, which is
currently under construction. USFOR-A recognizes SIGAR’s concerns, but believes that the standards used by SIGAR are not applicable in this case.
First, the facility has only one entry control point which SIGAR interprets to be contrary to USFOR-A’s own standards. Second, SIGAR is concerned about the impact on traffic flow of an inspection device that will be installed in one of the traffic lanes.
Although USFOR-A appreciates SIGAR’s concern in ensuring the most effective design is utilized, it is common practice for border crossing points to use a single entry control point. The Coalition Security Transition Command-Afghanistan guidance that SIGAR referenced as calling for two entry control points, applies to facilities that provide long-term housing for personnel (e.g., bases and forward operating bases), not border control points. In fact, it is normal practice for border control points to utilize a single entry control point as it exercises optimal control of cargo as well as facilitating security and revenue collection. Most cargo inspection facilities in North America utilize a single entry control point.
SIGAR is correct in pointing out that the decision to add a non-intrusive inspection device occurred after the design was completed and also after construction had begun. This contract modification did raise concerns with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers personnel; however, our experience with this equipment at other active border crossing points shows that the impact on traffic flow will be minimal and outweighed by the enhanced security and efficiencies provided by the device. Also, not mentioned in the SIGAR report is the fact that there will be a large site nearby where all trucks from Pakistan will cross-load their cargo to Afghan vehicles in accordance with Afghan government requirements.
USFOR-A understands the economic importance of customs revenues to the Afghan government
which is why we work closely with the Afghan Border Police and Customs officials to balance the need for efficient traffic flow at border crossing points with security requirements.
USFOR-A welcomes the insight and recommendations of SIGAR and other outside organizations and will continue to refine its processes to ensure the appropriate allocation of resources to support its