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Thread: Army Lost Nearly $420M-Worth of Equipment in Afghanistan

  1. #11
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    Re: Army Lost Nearly $420M-Worth of Equipment in Afghanistan

    Quote Originally Posted by Gathomas88 View Post
    Yup. That's the problem with government contracts in general, however.

    There's virtually no accountability whatsoever.
    I had received the impression that government spending was relatively transparent in the civil sector.

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    Re: Army Lost Nearly $420M-Worth of Equipment in Afghanistan

    Quote Originally Posted by joG View Post
    I had received the impression that government spending was relatively transparent in the civil sector.
    Spending? Perhaps.

    Performance standards? Not so much.

    I was deployed with a Transportation Brigade from 2011 to 2012. I happened to be stationed at HQ as well, so I got see how the logistics behind everything ran from a "top down" perspective.

    The basic gist of it is that the civilian companies transporting our supplies don't give a damn. All they care about is getting paid, which tends to happen either way regardless of how late their cargo is delivered, or the condition in which it happens to arrive. The higher ups in the chain (as well as their civilian agenda setters) aren't interested in hearing "excuses" from their commanders on the ground either, only in results.

    This basically results in a state of affairs where everyone in uniform is constantly chasing their own tails trying to figure out what's going on without getting their asses handed to them from above, while barely cooperative contractors laugh all the way to bank while doing the bare minimum to get by.
    Last edited by Gathomas88; 11-06-14 at 04:50 PM.

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    Re: Army Lost Nearly $420M-Worth of Equipment in Afghanistan

    Quote Originally Posted by Gathomas88 View Post
    Spending? Perhaps.

    Performance standards? Not so much.

    I was deployed with a Transportation Brigade from 2011 to 2012. I happened to be stationed at HQ as well, so I got see how the logistics behind everything ran from a "top down" perspective.

    The basic gist of it is that the civilian companies transporting our supplies don't give a damn. All they care about is getting paid, which tends to happen either way regardless of how late their cargo is delivered, or the condition in which it happens to arrive. The higher ups in the chain (as well as their civilian agenda setters) aren't interested in hearing "excuses" from their commanders on the ground either, only in results.

    This basically results in a state of affairs where everyone in uniform is constantly chasing their own tails trying to figure out what's going on without getting their asses handed to them from above, while barely cooperative contractors laugh all the way to bank while doing the bare minimum to get by.

    That was interesting. It does sound like a problem that could be fixed. If it isn't it could be interpreted as negligence.

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    Re: Army Lost Nearly $420M-Worth of Equipment in Afghanistan

    Quote Originally Posted by apdst View Post
    Do you send soldiers to the battlefield?

    420 million, over 13 years? That's nothing!
    Well, as far as I understood from the article, it's 420 million within fiscal year 2013. Isn't it too much for one year?

    Quote Originally Posted by joG View Post
    Yes. Afghanistan was relatively expensive. Iraq was more expensive. But didn't you know that?
    Yeah, I know that. But being expensive and being necessary are two different things, aren't they? Plus, "expensive" is just a vague word while numbers give quite an impression of how much these wars are costing us.
    Just think about it, they LOST 420 million-worth equipment.
    And then think that Iraq war has cost us $6 trillion within eight years.
    This sum of money includes $76 billion of veteran benefits.
    But if we cut the budget to $100 billion a year to support our military, it would be enough to pay the salary, to pay for bases support all over the world, to provide insurance, etc. Multiply it by eight years and add $76 billion of veteran benefit, and you will get around $1 trillion. Add here $1 trillion of interests we need to pay out. And we get $2 trillion within eight years to spend on military.
    So, there are $4 trillion left. What could we have done to them if we hadn't spent them? Like, invest them in our economy? That might have boosted our GDP by 2% a year (and that's hell of a lot).
    But that money wasn't invented, it was spent. Spent to gain what? Let's see.
    Oil production in Iraq has grown 13 times during 2003-2011. But that hasn't given any benefit for the state budget. Why? Because the private companies earned the money having their offshore accounts. So, the citizens of the US paid for the military campaign in Iraq with their tax dollars ($6 trillion, remember?), but the state got nothing back. All income from the oil fields went to the companies. And we are supposed to be satisfied by the fact we helped to establish democracy.
    So, yeah, Iraq war is very expensive.

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    Re: Army Lost Nearly $420M-Worth of Equipment in Afghanistan

    Quote Originally Posted by Tameamea View Post
    Well, as far as I understood from the article, it's 420 million within fiscal year 2013. Isn't it too much for one year?



    Yeah, I know that. But being expensive and being necessary are two different things, aren't they? Plus, "expensive" is just a vague word while numbers give quite an impression of how much these wars are costing us.
    Just think about it, they LOST 420 million-worth equipment.
    And then think that Iraq war has cost us $6 trillion within eight years.
    This sum of money includes $76 billion of veteran benefits.
    But if we cut the budget to $100 billion a year to support our military, it would be enough to pay the salary, to pay for bases support all over the world, to provide insurance, etc. Multiply it by eight years and add $76 billion of veteran benefit, and you will get around $1 trillion. Add here $1 trillion of interests we need to pay out. And we get $2 trillion within eight years to spend on military.
    So, there are $4 trillion left. What could we have done to them if we hadn't spent them? Like, invest them in our economy? That might have boosted our GDP by 2% a year (and that's hell of a lot).
    But that money wasn't invented, it was spent. Spent to gain what? Let's see.
    Oil production in Iraq has grown 13 times during 2003-2011. But that hasn't given any benefit for the state budget. Why? Because the private companies earned the money having their offshore accounts. So, the citizens of the US paid for the military campaign in Iraq with their tax dollars ($6 trillion, remember?), but the state got nothing back. All income from the oil fields went to the companies. And we are supposed to be satisfied by the fact we helped to establish democracy.
    So, yeah, Iraq war is very expensive.
    Actually, most of the oil you speak about was pumped by non American companies, which is fine.

    The incursions in Afghanistan and Iran had nothing to do with directly earned profits as is good and fine. You do not want countries to grab land for profit like the Russians just did in Crimea. US interventions should be and usually have been of a very different nature.

    And you are right. The costs were very high. But the cost of doing business is high, when the business is in a chaotic and dangerous region, which is the case for the international theater everywhere really. Don't forget, Ukraine or Bosnia are in Europe and the islands contested in the Far East are neighboring Japan or Taiwan. Until we have a robust global guarantor of safety and security run and paid for by the international community, we are going to have high costs. We are trying to defuse them by prodding countries like Germany or Japan to help shoulder the hard and soft costs of this public good with the US and NATO and will be asking more of China in future, I assume. But do not kid yourself. Security is expensive. Just think of what it costs domestically.

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    Re: Army Lost Nearly $420M-Worth of Equipment in Afghanistan

    It's Obama's fault.
    Trump Attacked A Syrian Airfield. Trump will be a one-term president.

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    Re: Army Lost Nearly $420M-Worth of Equipment in Afghanistan

    In their defense, though, $420 million is what, like five wrenches?
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    Re: Army Lost Nearly $420M-Worth of Equipment in Afghanistan

    Quote Originally Posted by Tameamea View Post
    Army Lost Nearly $420M-Worth of Equipment in Afghanistan

    The more I learn about what happens in the Middle East, the more I wonder what the heck we are doing there… And who are those people in charge of the mess?
    Seriously, $420 million-worth of equipment lost… Quite a lot.
    If we add here some other numbers like $20.2 billion spent in 200-2013 in Afghanistan and Iraq on air conditioning; or that one day in Afghanistan costs around $80 million… we can get a picture of a massive spending. Spending of the money that could’ve been used to develop our country’s economy, for a change.
    This is a sensationalist article. If you actually read the article it does not mention what items are missing and why. It also states that the Army does not consider the items missing. It's quite possible that the items are simply just not accounted for. They may be in use but due to the mass buildup of troops during the surge, a lot of items probably were lost on paper but still in use. Transferes between units, along with items probably canibalized to repair other items, possibly bad inventories prior to deployment.. Working in the military, I can easily see how someone could inflate such a number and how easy it could be to "loose" equipment when its not really lost. I managed an equipment account for the shop I worked in and when I first took it on, it was jacked up. Nothing was missing, just poor documentation of items transfered to other units, items we never recieved, defective items that were turned in that still showed on our inventory, items that we swapped out for upgraded items that never dissapeared from our inventory. If you were to add all that up, you could write an article about how much stuff was "lost" even when nothing was really lost, just poorly accounted for on paper.
    - There was never a good war, or a bad peace.
    - Idealistically, everything should work as you planed it to. Realistically, it depends on how idealistic you are as to the measure of success.
    - Better to be a pessimist before, and an optimist afterwords.

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