Task Force for Business and
Stability Operations (TFBSO)
The Task Force for Business and Stability
Operations (TFBSO) was created to focus on economic redevelopment in US
war zones - such as Afghanistan and Iraq. TFBSO began operations in
Afghanistan in 2009; after having its initial start in Iraq. TFBSO
concentrated on attracting private foreign investment, corporate
development, agriculture, mineral extraction, information technology,
and administration of economic sector ministries. The job creation
efforts were seen as an important aspect of the overall U.S.
counterinsurgency mission in Afghanistan.
USAID not the Pentagon. Many of
the Democrats in Congress saw the Pentagon's participation in economic
development as stepping over the line. They felt that TFBSO should fall
under the State Department not the Defense Department.
1. The leadership of the TFBSO contended that
'tactical economic development expertise' and 'business development' was
against the nature of USAID - a humanitarian services organization.
$43 Million Gas Station. One of
the most famous TFBSO endeavors occurred in 2011 when the U.S. built a
natural gas filling station in Afghanistan that should have cost about
1/2 million dollars. The gas station was built in a city of 100,000 with
very few vehicles suited for natural gas and with a natural gas pipeline
that was incomplete. 2., 3.
Websites about TFBSO
Official TFBSO Website. Website location for the
TFBSO was at
http://tfbso.defense.gov but it is no longer available.
Official TFBSO Blog. There was also a TFBSO blog
http://tfbso.ntis.gov/blog but that has been taken offline as well.
TFBSO by WikipediA.
Twitter Feed. Lots of past stories about the
organization can be found on the Twitter feed
YouTube and TFBSO. YouTube has lots of videos
about TFBSO available at
Papers, Reports, and Publications about TFBSO
SIGAR, DoD Task Force for Business and
Stability Operations in Afghanistan: Preliminary Results Show Serious
Management and Oversight Problems, transcript of testimony before
the Subcommittee on Readiness and Management Support, U.S. Senate,
January 20, 2016. Statement of John F. Sopko (SIGAR).
RAND, Task Force for Business and Stability
Operations: Lessons from Afghanistan, RAND Corporation, January
2016. This 139-page report uses semistructured interviews and both
public and internal documentation to identify lessons from the Task
Force's activities in Afghanistan, offering insights for similar
projects in the future.
SIGAR, Letter from SIGAR to SECDEF,
November 25, 2015. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter received a letter
from the Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan
Reconstruction (SIGAR) about the use of private villas and expense
security details by the Defense Department's Task Force for Business and
Stability Operations (TFBSO).
SIGAR, Afghanistan's Mineral, Oil, and Gas
Industries: Unless U.S. Agencies Act Soon to Sustain Investments Made,
$488 Million in Funding is at Risk, SIGAR 15-55 Audit Report, April
Afghan War News Blog Posts on TFBSO
April 29, 2015.
"SIGAR: $488 Million at Risk - TFBSO". AWN Blog.
See all Blog Posts by AWN about the TFBSO
News Stories about TFBSO
January 28, 2016.
"Legacy Rising: DoD Business Task Force Impact Evidence Grows", by
Jeff Goodson, Real Clear Defense. Goodson, a retired Foreign
Service Officer with three deployments to Afghanistan, comes to the
defense of the TFBSO.
December 3, 2015.
"SIGAR: DoD Task Force Shelled Out Millions to Live in Kabul Villas",
December 3, 2015.
"Pentagon wasted 'tens of millions' on private villas in Afghanistan",
Stars and Stripes.
November 23, 2015.
"A Pentagon Whistleblower Says He's Being Punished for Calling Out Waste
in Afghanistan", VICE News. COL John C. Hope, who spent
nine months as the top official with TFBSO in Afghanistan, is getting
punished for reporting on waste, fraud and abuse with TFBSO.
November 11, 2015.
"The Pentagon's Afghan 'Slush Fund' Will Now Have to Answer to Angry
Lawmakers", Defense One. The DoD has not complied with
requests to turn over data files and documents relating to the TFBSO -
now the Senate Judiciary Committee is angry and writing letters to DoD .
. . .
November 3, 2015.
"The only thing more absurd than the $43 million gas station . . . ",
July 20, 2015.
"Pentagon Continues to Stiff-Arm SIGAR on TFBSO Investigation",
Isenberg Institute of Strategic Satire. DoD is rebuffing the
investigative efforts of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan
Reconstruction into allegations of $800 million wasted.
December 16, 2014.
"Pentagon sent Afghan jewelers on lavish 'months-long gem training
programs'", Fox News Politics.
November 18, 2014.
"SIGAR: Pentagon's economic development in Afghanistan 'accomplished
nothing'", Marine Corps Times. The Special Inspector
General for Afghanistan Reconstruction is investigating the Pentagon's
efforts to spark that country's economic development - which costs about
$700 to $800 million.
March 24, 2011.
"Defense task force on Afghanistan development unravels", by Rajiv
Chandrasekaren, The Washington Post. Resignations in the
organization is taking its toll as well as congressional scrutiny. The
move to put TFBSO under USAID - shifting it from the Pentagon is being
resisted by TFBSO leadership.
August 27, 2007.
"Pentagon official is under investigation". Los Angeles Times.
The head of TFBSO is under investigation by the Defense Department on
1. For more on Democratic opposition to TFBSO
under the Pentagon see Congresswoman McCollum's Statement on the
Task Force for Business and Stability Operations in Afghanistan
(Admendment to H.R. 2219), July 6, 2011.
2. See SIGAR letter of inquiry on the $43 million
gas station dated December 11, 2014.
3. See CNN report (Nov 2, 2015) on $43 million
gas station in
"Report reveals Afghanistan gas station cost U.S. $43 million",
CNN Politics, November 3, 2015.