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Watchdog for Afghanistan reconstruction resigns
Monday - 1/10/2011, 8:08pm EST
Federal News Radio
Ret. Major General Arnold Fields is resigning as Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR).
Fields was appointed SIGAR in June 2008 and oversaw a staff of 120 people, according to a White House statement on Monday.
His responsibilities included producing "critical reports that have improved reconstruction efforts, and helped insure that U.S.-funded programs are achieving their objectives," according to the statement.
The resignation comes within a week of Fields firing two of his deputies in order to bring in "new blood." Fields has come under attack by lawmakers who claim he has failed to oversee the $56 billion in U.S. funds since 2002 to improve infrastructure in Afghanistan.
In a statement Monday, Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said the news of Fields' resignation was a first step toward "the correct path" for oversight in Afghanistan.
"It is now critical that the administration appoint a leader who will provide aggressive and thorough oversight of the billions of dollars spent on reconstruction in Afghanistan," Collins said.
--The Associated Press contributed to this story.