A Ridiculous Amount of Your Tax Dollars are Still Being Wasted in Afghanistan

Naji Dahi
July 23, 2015

(ANTIMEDIA) America’s never-ending war in Afghanistan is back in the news again. This time, The Hill is reporting that the Pentagon constructed a $14.7 million warehouse that was never used:

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“If the facility had been completed on schedule, [the Defense Logistics Agency] would have been able to use it for more than two years before the agency’s mission in Kandahar ended in 2014.”

Apparently, the construction of the warehouse began in 2009, but due to delays and the use of three different contracting companies, the work was not finished until February 2014—past the date that the U.S. decided to pull its troops from Kandahar in southern Afghanistan. As The Hill explained,

“The defense [logistics] agency accepted the facility in February 2014, more than two years after the originally scheduled deadline, but the report said ‘it never occupied or used the facility.’”

While this might come as a shock to some Americans, it is nothing new for the war in Afghanistan.

In 2009, the Pentagon awarded a contract to a British company to build a Marines headquarters in southern Afghanistan. The project was completed in the summer of 2013. The cost of the two-story headquarters was a staggering $34 million. As Russia Today reported at the time,

“The extravagant project was completed this year, costing the US government $34 million – even though the military now has no plans to use it. The two-story structure, which is larger than a football field, features a briefing theater, large offices, 110-volt outlets for US appliances, luxurious chairs and furniture, equipment to wage modern war, and powerful air conditioning and heating systems which require costly amounts of electricity.” [emphasis added]

Work on the facility stopped in April 2013, but by that time, the facility was 98% complete. To make matters worse, the commander at Camp Leatherneck—where the structure is located—had already signaled twice to his superiors that the headquarters were no longer needed. Camp Leatherneck has since been handed over to the Afghan military.

On June 12, 2014, the Washington Post reported that the Pentagon spent $3 million on 8 boats for the Afghan police in landlocked Afghanistan. As the Washington Post put it,

That sentence is surprising for a few reasons: 1. Afghanistan is landlocked. 2. Not a single boat has arrived in Afghanistan, even though the purchase was made in 2010. 3. That works out to be more than $375,000 per boat. Similar boats in the United States are typically sold for about $50,000.”

Similar to the previous instances, the Pentagon and NATO decided the boats would not be needed, after all. But the decision came 9 months too late and by that time, the U.S. had spent $3 million on boats that now sit unused in a Virginia warehouse.

Finally, there is the report by CBS News that the Pentagon ordered $600 million worth of C-27 transport airplanes. The airplanes sit unused on the tarmac in Germany and Kabul, Afghanistan. As the Daily Mirror reported,

“The US Air Force is facing an investigation over why it destroyed 16 cargo planes worth nearly $500million and turned them into $32,000 of scrap metal. The fleet of 16 C-27As that were bought for the Afghan Army and stored in Kabul International Airport were taken apart to allegedly save costs as forces continue to withdraw from the country.”

Henry Ward Beecher once wrote that common people pay for war with their blood and their treasure. The war in Afghanistan—the longest war in U.S. history—is an apt example of that cost.


This article (A Ridiculous Amount of Your Tax Dollars are Still Being Wasted in Afghanistan) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Naji Dahi and theAntiMedia.org. Anti-Media Radio airs weeknights at 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. Image credit: DVIDSHUB. If you spot a typo, email edits@theantimedia.org.

Naji Dahi joined Anti-Media as an independent journalist in June of 2015. His topics of interest include American politics, Middle East politics, foreign policy, electric cars, electric gadgets, and yoga. Born in Syria, he currently resides in Long Beach, California. Learn more about Dahi here!

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