KABUL (Sputnik) – According to a new report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), a Pentagon watchdog focused on the U.S.’ war in Afghanistan that ended last year, the Pentagon has only provided “limited, inaccurate, and untimely information about the military articles it left behind”.
“[A]lthough DOD reported $7.1 billion in equipment left in Afghanistan that was previously provided to the Afghanistan government and the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF), the department has struggled for years with accurately accounting for the equipment it provided to the ANDSF,” the SIGAR report stated.
“Since at least 2009, SIGAR and the DOD Office of Inspector General (DOD IG) have published reports noting accountability shortfalls and issues with DOD’s processes for tracking equipment in Afghanistan,” it added.
The report goes on, stating that the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) “did not meet its own oversight requirements for sensitive equipment transferred to the Afghan government and ANDSF, and had not inventoried 60% of defense articles with enhanced monitoring requirements - those containing sensitive technology - between May 2019 and April 2020 due to security constraints and travel limitations”.
In other words, the U.S. government doesn’t really know which equipment, or how much of it, was left behind in Afghanistan, but it was at least $7.1 billion worth.
The DOD IG report from August noted that at the time of the fall of the government, the ANDSF had in its stocks some 316,000 small arms supplied by the U.S. since 2005.
That report also noted longstanding and well-known problems with the Core Inventory Management System used to catalog stocks at bases in Afghanistan, including a chaotic system of Microsoft Excel spreadsheets and even handwritten inventories used to get around the problem that many of the bases either did not have internet access or didn’t have electricity of any type.
SIGAR did note that at least 70 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) tactical vehicles and 80 aircraft were “rendered inoperable” in what it called “ad-hoc demilitarization efforts” at Hamid Karzai International Airport in August 2021, the point of egress for U.S. troops and their collaborators in the final weeks of the withdrawal.