The US Totally Blew $3M on Boats for Afghanistan

Afghanistan is landlocked, the boats were abnormally expensive, and more
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 13, 2014 9:34 AM CDT
The US Totally Blew $3M on Boats for Afghanistan
Afghan young men walk back from a nearby desert with their camels on the outskirts of Kandahar, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2014.   (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan)

The US has wasted money in many ways in the Afghan war, but the Washington Post highlights a particularly egregious one revealed by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction yesterday: The US spent $3 million in 2010 to buy the Afghan police eight patrol boats. That works out to $375,000 per boat—for boats that normally sell for $50,000 in the US. What makes the purchases even more bizarre is that Afghanistan is landlocked.

The boats were intended to patrol the Amu Darya River between Afghanistan and Uzbekistan, but the US reportedly gave 19 boats to Uzbekistan in 2004 to patrol the same river. (Another odd detail: The closest port Afghan forces would have been able to use? That would be in Pakistan, some 1,000 miles away.) But wait, it gets even worse: The US and NATO quickly decided that these abnormally expensive boats weren't necessary after all, and never delivered them—they're still sitting in storage in Virginia. "The list of unanswered questions is particularly troubling," the inspector general said in a letter to the Pentagon. (More Afghanistan stories.)

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