20 June 2013

U.S. to scrap $7,000,000,000 of equipment in Afghanistan

As reported in the Washington Post:
The massive disposal effort, which U.S. military officials call unprecedented, has unfolded largely out of sight amid an ongoing debate inside the Pentagon about what to do with the heaps of equipment that won’t be returning home. Military planners have determined that they will not ship back more than $7 billion worth of equipment — about 20 percent of what the U.S. military has in Afghanistan — because it is no longer needed or would be too costly to ship back home.

That has left the Pentagon in a quandary about what to do with the items. Bequeathing a large share to the Afghan government would be challenging because of complicated rules governing equipment donations to other countries, and there is concern that Afghanistan’s fledgling forces would be unable to maintain it. Some gear may be sold or donated to allied nations, but few are likely to be able to retrieve it from the war zone.

Therefore, much of it will continue to be shredded, cut and crushed to be sold for pennies per pound on the Afghan scrap market — a process that reflects a presumptive end to an era of protracted ground wars...

Toiling under the searing sun last week at this vast base in southern Kandahar province, contract workers from Nepal and other countries in the region wore fireproof suits and masks as they used special blowtorches to dismantle vehicles built to withstand deadly blasts. It takes about 12 hours to tear apart each MRAP...

Military officials have drawn little attention to the scrapping operations, mindful that the endeavor might appear wasteful...
And they are mindful of needs and concerns of (certain) people:
As they have debated how much excess equipment to shred or sell, officials have considered whether the defense industry would suffer if the Pentagon unloaded tons of used equipment on the market at vastly reduced prices.


  1. thank goodness someone is thinking of the defense industry.

    it has been a long hard road for those guys and it would be a terrible shame if they didn't completely maximize their profits.

    i don't care what is costs the government. no defense contractor should have to give up any of their vacation homes or private jets.

    oh, the cruelty of it!

  2. Couldn't have said it better, flask.

  3. You find the most socially responsible links.

  4. Remember it's teacher's pensions that are the real drain on our finances....


  5. Plenty of normal folk were laid of in the defense industry, plenty more will be.
    Those at the top have made plenty, those at the bottom are just like everyone else.

    Its ridiculous we had so much equipment there in the first place if "victory" was going to be nothing more then our successor puppet regime duking it out with the Taliban.


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