Military to Scrap $7B in Gear

WaPo: Partly because it would cost too much to ship back from Afghanistan
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 19, 2013 9:31 PM CDT
Updated Jun 20, 2013 3:00 AM CDT
A U.S. soldier walks by MRAP (mine-resistant ambush -rotected) vehicles in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan.   (AP Photo/Pier Paolo Cito)

(Newser) – Talk about the logistics of war: The US is going to destroy about $7 billion worth of military equipment in Afghanistan because it would cost too much money to ship it home or because the gear wouldn't be of much use anymore, reports the Washington Post. That includes about 2,000 hulking MRAPs—mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles that cost $1 million apiece. The excess equipment is being turned into scrap metal.

Why not leave it for the Afghan army? The Pentagon is concerned the Afghan forces wouldn't be able to maintain it. The US could donate the stuff to other allied nations, but rules require recipient nations to go get it themselves in Afghanistan, and that's apparently too hard to make happen before the 2014 withdrawal. Hence, scrap yards in Afghanistan are extremely busy these days. (Read more Afghanistan war stories.)

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