The US Department of Defense Inspector General (IG) has blasted the conditions at Camp Taji in Iraq, where US troops continue to live in the shadow of toxic burn pits where trash is improperly disposed of years after the IG called attention to the problem.
A recent audit by the DoD IG made public on Friday has revealed the ongoing disagreements between watchdogs and Pentagon brass over the danger of an open-air trash pit near Camp Taji, an Iraqi military base north of Baghdad where large numbers of US troops are stationed.
”In the absence of a contract requirement to dispose of solid waste in accordance with US Central Command environmental guidance, the contractor continued to use its commercially available, and Government of Iraq‑approved, solid waste disposal method of dumping solid waste at a site in the Camp Taji Amber Zone, which the Iraqis would later burn,” the IG report said, noting that “this solid waste disposal method may have contributed to the exposure of US and Coalition personnel to potential long‑term health effects from the burn pit smoke.”
The finding was part of a larger report in which the IG audited the Army’s Base Life Support Contract at Camp Taji, finding the Pentagon overpaid by $116 million over the last five years to SoS International LLC, a service provider based in northern Virginia, for the base’s dining facilities, housing, electricity and other services.
“As a result of poorly defined contract requirements, inadequate…