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$338 Mil Auto Bailout of Afghanistan Ends in Disaster

Posted By Daniel Greenfield On October 20, 2013 @ 9:21 pm In The Point | 9 Comments

We borrowed money from China to help buy auto parts for Afghanistan that will smuggled and sold back into China. If that’s not smart economics, I don’t know what is.

Just like GM, the U.S. government has decided to give millions to another part of the auto industry — only this time it’s in Afghanistan.

In fact, a U.S.-led international group spent $230 million on spare vehicle parts for the Afghan National Army and other security agencies — then lost them.

So they did the sensible thing. Of course.

Not knowing where the parts were, the group ordered up an additional $138 million in parts a watchdog said likely aren’t needed and some of which are now sitting in warehouses with boxes stacked to the ceiling.

But at least Obama made veterans pay more for health care. So it all evens out.

Worse, U.S. officials couldn’t be sure the parts were going to help their intended target. They could only confirm that 10 percent of the parts were being transferred to the Afghan army.

But I’m sure the pros at the Afghan army will fix that.

U.S. officials have been relying on the Afghan army to confirm receipt of the components. But the special inspector general warned that the Afghan army itself is doing a poor job of tracking what parts it has in its inventory, where they are, and what additional supplies might be needed.

Supply chain problems in a corrupt military made up of illiterate fighters working for warlords who don’t know how to use the bathroom?

“Giving the [Afghan army] more responsibility for tracking and shipping vehicle spare parts raises concerns, as [it] is not yet consistently using or updating its inventory to track what is currently in stock,” the special inspector general said.

Nor will they. The Afghan army is as capable of managing a supply chain as it is of religious tolerance. At this point it would be smarter to sell the parts locally and give Afghan commanders vouchers. There would probably be less waste and less corruption and better odds of parts going where they’re supposed to.

But that would be too sensible. It’s smarter to expect a gang whose great achievement is figuring out how to blow things up with second-hand equipment to be able to merge their supply chain with that of a First World superpower.


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