GAO Faults Pentagon’s $5.6 Billion Logistics Plan for Afghan Drawdown

Military Should Figure Out if it Wants to Ship Stuff Back First

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has announced that it has found major flaws in the Pentagon’s $5.7 billion logistical plan for the drawdown of troops and equipment from Afghanistan and is telling them to make serious changes.

At the core of the complaint is that the Pentagon has a dubious inventory of what they actually have in Afghanistan, and that they aren’t even trying to figure out whether they should bother to ship things back in the first place.

The first half of the problem is well documented, as NATO has reportedly considered a “surge” of troops into Afghanistan just to go through all of the shipping containers various nations sent to the occupation and never bothered to open. This could open up a new round of fraud investigations, since when Canada got around to doing this they discovered many of their crates had been looted and filled with rocks and sand.

The second half may be an even bigger deal though, as with little idea what is in all those shipping containers, there has also been no consideration of whether it is even worth shipping them back stateside, or just leaving whatever is in them for the Afghans.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.