Posted: July 30, 2015 The Defense Department scrapped $157.4 million worth of equipment it bought that never reached the Afghan National Army, according to a quarterly report to Congress from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction.
DOD has the option to stock equipment purchases made for the ANA that are later determined to be no longer needed if the department notifies Congress. However, of the nearly $175 million worth of equipment not used by the ANA this quarter, DOD is only stocking $16.1 million, according to the July 28 report.
The department scrapped $136 million worth of aircraft, $7.9 million of vehicles, $9 million in troop enclosures, $3.5 million in humvees and $1.1 million in cranes and forklifts. DOD decided to salvage all of the unneeded communications equipment, totaling $4.4 million, and $5.4 million worth of vehicles, according to the report.
SIGAR also found that compared to last quarter, Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) — which comprises all Afghan forces and police — were assessed as less capable. According to the report, an assessment of different categories such as leadership, command and control and sustainment within the different forces found that ANDSF reached a grade of capable, fully capable or sustaining — the top three rankings — in 10 percent fewer categories than last quarter.
DOD attributes the decrease in capability to the stresses imposed on ANDSF units at the beginning of the 2015 fighting season, especially with command and control and coordination of joint force operations, the report states.
Meanwhile, the Afghan National Security Council is developing a proposal to reform regional centers responsible for the coordination of security operations to create a clear chain of command, install a merit-based senior leadership selection process and update operating procedures, according to the report.
Since 2002, Congress has appropriated almost $110 billion for Afghanistan reconstruction. About $12 billion of those funds have still not been spent. Despite the reconstruction efforts, Afghanistan is still unable to pay its governmental expenditures. Domestic revenues paid for less than half of Afghanistan’s total budget of $1.2 billion so far in fiscal year 2015. Donor contributions have filled in the gaps.
However, the United States is on pace to pull away much of its funding to Afghanistan. For example, in 2013 DOD placed no conditions on U.S. funds used to support the Afghan Ministries of Defense and Interior (MOD and MOI), according to the report. In 2015, however, there are now 93 conditions on the ministries, which includes an annual 100 percent inventory of weapons from the MOD.
SIGAR also reported continued struggles with U.S. Forces-Afghanistan over the classification of documents pertaining to ANDSF force strength. While USFOR-A reported ANDSF force strength as 331,944, details at the corps-level and below remain classified.
Before the release of the first 2015 SIGAR quarterly report, Gen. John Campbell, commander of USFOR-A, declared data on U.S.-funded efforts to build train, equip and sustain ANDSF to be classified, though that information had been available to SIGAR in previous years.
“Congress and the Department of Defense need accurate ANSF strength numbers to determine the financial and materiel resources needed,” the first quarterly report states. “This is especially important since American taxpayers have already expended more than $20 billion to cover the salaries and other sustainment costs of Afghan security forces.”
The classification was reversed shortly before the release of the first quarterly report. — Scott Maucione
Inside Washington Publishers