US Gives Iraqis Gear It Needs in Afghanistan
Hard-up commanders irked by millions in equipment left behind
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2009 7:15 AM CST
Army Spc. Shawn Byrd, 29, from Toccoa, Ga, left, and Pfc. Angela Dubose, 25, from Duluth, Ga. pack up computer equipment for shipping to Afghanistan at Camp Victory in Baghdad, Iraq, April 20, 2009.   (AP Photo/ Maya Alleruzzo)
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(Newser) – Struggling US commanders in Afghanistan urgently need passenger vehicles and generators—the very same items their counterparts in Iraq are leaving behind as hand-me-downs for the Iraqis. As the military scales back its presence in Iraq, the Pentagon has raised the cap on equipment they're allowed to leave behind from $2 million to $30 million per base closing, angering hard-up commanders in the theater that has long played second fiddle to Iraq.

Army heads in Afghanistan tell the Washington Post their troops drive "broken-down, 15-year-old, right-hand-drive clunkers with bald tires" while troops in Iraq are sitting pretty in "new Yukons, Suburbans, Envoys and new pickups." US commanders in Iraq counter that it isn't cost-effective to ship used equipment to Afghanistan, and "an important and vital goal is to leave behind fully functioning bases to the government of Iraq to enable Iraq's civil capacities."