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Pentagon donated $858M in property to Afghanistan, watchdog says

Pentagon donated $858M in property to Afghanistan, watchdog says
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The Pentagon has donated $858 million of property to the Afghan government in the course of drawing down and closing bases in Afghanistan, according to an inspector general report released Monday.

“Since this donated property is now supporting the [Afghan National Defense and Security Forces] and other components of the Afghan government, it constitutes additional resources that the United States has provided to the Afghan government as a part of the reconstruction effort,” the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction report reads.

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Another $48.5 million of property has been destroyed or abandoned, according to the report.

Over the course of the war, the United States operated 715 bases in Afghanistan.

Pentagon policy reportedly prevents the United States from selling excess property to the Afghan government.

Between 2010 and February 2015, the military donated 391 bases to the Afghan government, closed 219 and transferred six to other U.S. government agencies, the report says.

Of the ones given to the Afghan government, the Afghan National Army got 225 bases, the Afghan National Police got 118 and other government entities got 48.

Most of the bases given to the Afghan army — 115 of them — were tactical bases, meaning they could house companies, battalions or brigade-sized elements.

The police, meanwhile, mostly got tactical infrastructure, which can range from large bases to small combat outposts. Of the 118 bases given to police, 80 were tactical infrastructure.

Of the 219 closed bases, 69 were tactical bases and 150 were tactical infrastructure, according to the report.

In a written response to the report, the Pentagon said donating the bases tends to be the most cost-effective way for the United States to dispose of the property. 

“Transferring property reduces U.S. disposal costs when compared to deconstruction and provides the Afghan government with facilities that can be used for a variety of purposes, including commercial re-developments or the provision of government services to the people of Afghanistan,” Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Christine Abizaid wrote in a response included in the report. “For those facilities no longer needed by the Afghan Ministries of Defense or Interior, DoD works with the ministries to divest those properties in our efforts to reduce long-term facilities sustainment costs.”