Pentagon Scrapping $7 Billion Worth of Gear in Afghanistan

Drawdown Means Boom Times for Afghan Scrap Metal Dealers

It’s a good time to be a scrap metal dealer in occupied Afghanistan.

As the Pentagon looks to draw down the size of their forces by the end of 2014, a major difficulty has been the massive amounts of gear and vehicles the US went to such great expense to ship there over the years.

The law simply won’t allow them to give the gear to the Afghan government, and selling it to anyone else is next to impossible since they’d need to be able to get it out of Afghanistan to do anything with it. Instead, the US is “shredding” $7 billion worth of it.

That means hundreds of millions of pounds of gear, some of it brand new in the crates (so much that the Pentagon is considering a “surge” just to sort it all) or barely used, is being simply ripped to shreds or crushed into cubes and sold for tiny fractions of its cost to the junk metal dealers.

It’s a monumental amount of destruction for even the US military to try to pull off, with the working plan seemingly to destroy anything and everything that isn’t specifically needed for the occupation from 2015-2024, including bases. The fear is that anything not destroyed might eventually end up in the hands of insurgents.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of