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Flushing Money In Afghanistan

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  • Flushing Money In Afghanistan

    A few days ago I ran a column on the Congressional effort to secure a clear timetable for departure from Afghanistan and in the comments I mentioned that for what it costs to maintain one soldier in Afghanistan for a year we could build thirty schools there.

    Thirty schools? Surely not. Even if the schools are little one-room rural affairs, how could we build thirty of them for the cost of maintaining a single soldier there? I mean, how much does it cost per soldier anyway?

    One million dollars per soldier.

    That’s what the per-soldier cost of our military commitment to Afghanistan currently comes in at. So at about $33,000 per rural school, we can indeed build thirty schools for the cost of maintaining that one soldier there.

    This, of course, raises a different question. Why does it cost that much? Part of the answer is that many of the maintenance and logistics contracts for the operation are no-bid deals cut directly with suppliers. Sometimes you have to do that at the front end of an operation because it may be that only one company can provide exactly what you need when you need it, but we’re not exactly at the front end of this operation any more. Instead, we’re looking at winding the operation down, but we’ve still running no-bid contracts and racking up billions in unnecessary expenses. Here’s a link to an article covering this.

    Now why should you care aside from the fact that those are your tax dollars being flushed ...


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