A shocking new report coming out of the Pentagon shows that the United States Federal Government has wasted $28 million over the period of ten years purchasing uniforms for the Afghan Army.
As if such a purchase for a self-sustaining foreign government wasn't already insanity, the uniforms were ordered with a woodland camouflage pattern appropriate for a tiny fraction of Afghanistan which is mainly a desert and mountainous terrain.
According to the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, the Afghan Defense Minister picked the incredibly high-priced, privately owned "forest" color pattern over free camouflage schemes owned by the U.S. government.
In an advanced copy of the report due out on Wednesday, the 17-page study notes that "forests cover only 2.1% of Afghanistan's total land area."
John Sopko, the Special Inspector General said that “My concern is what if the minister of defense liked purple, or liked pink? Are we going to buy pink uniforms for soldiers and not ask questions? That's insane. This is just simply stupid on its face. We wasted $28 million of taxpayers' money in the name of fashion because the defense minister thought that the pattern was pretty. So if he thought pink or chartreuse was it, would we have done that?"
In a perfect characterization of the wasteful spending, most Americans would agree that it's not the responsibility of America to continue to finance the Afghanistan Army. In fact, Afghanistan is the world's leading exporter of Opioids including Heroin that in turn kills Americans, which they profit extremely from selling.
Sopko's office has consistently badgered the Pentagon for using tens of millions of dollars of the $66 billion Congress has appropriated to train, equip and house Afghan security forces.
Wednesday's release over the uniforms was simply icing on the cake to underscore mismanagement occurring within the Pentagon. Sopko went as far as noting that special tailoring such as zippers instead of buttons boosted the cost of uniforms of already dubious value.
The United States is literally spending more on the Afghanistan Uniforms than they are on their own troops, Sopko’s office pointed out.
The Pentagon has spent at least $93 million on the uniforms since 2007. “Using the inexpensive camouflage pattern owned by the U.S. military could save taxpayers as much as $71 million over the next decade” the Inspector General stated.
"I feel sorry for the poor Afghan soldiers," Sopko said. "I mean they're walking around with a target on their backs, 'Shoot me.' Because only 2% of the country is forest woodland, and that's the outfit that the Afghan minister picked."