Pentagon Watchdog Opens Investigation Into Biden’s Gaza Pier Amid Operational Failures

An aerial view of the Pentagon, Washington, D.C., May 11, 2021. (DOD photo by U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Brittany A. Chase)

The internal watchdog of the Pentagon has launched an investigation into the Biden administration’s Gaza aid pier, the agency announced on Thursday.

The $230 million floating pier, meant to serve as a maritime route for aid delivery via the Mediterranean Sea, has faced a series of problems since it was opened in mid-May, prompting concerns that it cannot fulfill its task. The Department of Defense and the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Offices of Inspector General (OIG) are conducting a coordinated investigation to “assess the effectiveness” of the pier’s ability to deliver aid, according to the announcement.

“The DoD OIG and USAID OIG are working together to address the challenges associated with this mission. Through our collaboration, we will leverage the unique expertise, resources, and capabilities of our teams to optimize our oversight in this important area,” Pentagon Inspector General Robert P. Storch said in a statement.

The investigation comes after weeks of operational and logistical issues that have routinely shuttered the pier, hampered aid delivery to the Palestinians and potentially endangered U.S. troops. President Joe Biden told the Pentagon about his plan for the pier only days before publicly announcing it, leaving defense officials scrambling to mobilize resources for the task.

The pier, hastily built by the U.S. military in May, cannot operate in the routine conditions of the Mediterranean sea, forcing officials to shut it down until stints of bad weather and choppy waters pass over, according to the Wall Street Journal. A spate of rough weather broke the pier apart in mid-May and it was towed north for repairs.

The United Nations’ chief agency tasked with aid distribution in Gaza decided to stop making deliveries from the pier earlier in June, citing security concerns. U.S. officials are reportedly now warning aid organizations in Gaza that the pier will be permanently shuttered in the coming weeks instead of the target date of September, according to The New York Times.

Defense experts and former U.S. officials previously told the Daily Caller News Foundation that the pier was a dangerous idea that was never practical.

“It’s not redeemable and was a dangerously foolish idea from the beginning,” Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Middle East Simone Ledeen previously told the DCNF. “A huge waste of human and financial resources.”


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