A report out today details how the U.S. military is slapping some finishing touches on a ridiculously expensive headquarters in Afghanistan that no one will use.
The windowless, two-story structure, which is larger than a football field, was completed this year at a cost of $34 million. But the military has no plans to ever use it. Commanders in the area, who insisted three years ago that they did not need the building, now are in the process of withdrawing forces and see no reason to move into the new facility.
Here’s a link to some pictures of the empty, unused building.
Anyone who’s subscribed to the email alerts from the Special Inspector General to the Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) knows this type of rampant war spending is all too common.
Just last week came a revelation that the U.S. is (no joke) buying $551 million in Russian helicopters that the Afghans won’t be able to maintain.
Furthermore, the logistics arms of the military have no idea how they’re going to get all the gear out of Iraq. Last we checked, they’re planning to simply dump $7 billion worth of gear when they finally leave the country.
Well, not quite, they’ve invited Pakistan to take its pick of the litter — kind of like a military yard sale.
The continuing financial debacle that is the end of the Afghanistan war is only made further embarrassing because the same exact scenario happened in Iraq — both with construction of useless buildings and with leftover equipment — so the process should have been easily avoided or streamlined (ie “lessons learned“).
Despite the numerous reports though, it doesn’t seem these lessons are actually being learned.
In a letter sent Monday to defence Secretary Chuck Hagel, the special inspector general for the reconstruction of Afghanistan, John F. Sopko, called it “the best constructed building I have seen in my travels to Afghanistan.”
Sopko continued, “Unfortunately, it is unused, unoccupied, and presumably will never be used for its intended purpose. This is an example of what is wrong with military construction in general — once a project is started, it is very difficult to stop.”
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