U.S. seeking buyers for old hardware from Afghan war, says Pakistan won’t be getting any

Published: March 31, 2014

In this file photo taken Sept. 23, 2009, a column of U.S. Army mine-resistant armored vehicles (MRAPs) and Afghan National Army vehicles pass through a village during a joint patrol in the Jalrez Valley in Afghanistan’s Wardak Province. AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo

KATHY GANNON
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

KABUL, Afghanistan — The United States is trying to sell or dispose of billions of dollars in military hardware, including sophisticated and highly specialized mine resistant vehicles as it packs up to leave Afghanistan after 13 years of war, officials said Monday.

But the efforts are complicated in a region where relations between neighbouring countries are mired in suspicion and outright hostility.

A statement by the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan said Islamabad is interested in buying used U.S. equipment. The statement said Pakistan’s request is being reviewed but any equipment it receives, including the coveted mine resistant vehicles, will not likely come from its often angry neighbour Afghanistan.

An earlier U.S. Forces statement was definite: Pakistan would not get any U.S. equipment being sold out of Afghanistan.

Mark Wright, Department of Defence spokesman, told The Associated Press in a telephone interview that the U.S. would like to sell to “nearby countries” the equipment that is too costly to ship back home.

Among the items for sale are 800 MRAPs, highly sophisticated Mine Resistant Ambush Protected armoured vehicles. Selling them off could mean a savings of as much as $500 million and hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues, he said. The computerized MRAPs have been used by U.S. service personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan, as protection against the deadly roadside bombs used relentlessly by insurgents.

According to an Associated Press count at least 2,176 members of the U.S. military have died in Afghanistan since the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001. Many were killed by roadside bombs.

Still it seems certain that Afghanistan’s nearest neighbour Pakistan won’t be getting any of the excess 800 MRAPs that are up for sale by the departing U.S. military, although roadside bombs have been one of the deadliest weapons used by Pakistani insurgents against an estimated 170,000 Pakistani soldiers deployed in the tribal regions that border Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Earlier this month the head of coalition forces in Afghanistan, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford told a Pentagon briefing that Pakistan would be interested in getting MRAPs.

A statement issued on Monday by the U.S. Embassy said the U.S. is “currently reviewing” Pakistan’s request for a variety of items under what the U.S. calls its “excess defence articles” — a category that includes the 800 MRAPs in Afghanistan.

Reports that Pakistan might be interested in the MRAPs raised hackles in Kabul, with the authorities saying all the equipment should stay in Afghanistan.

“We are strongly opposed to any deal in this regard without consultation with Afghanistan and we have clearly conveyed this to the U.S,” Karzai’s spokesman Aimal Faizi told the AP on Monday. “It is in contradiction to the co-operative norms between strategic partners, Afghanistan and the U.S.”

In a statement last week aimed at easing Kabul’s concerns that no military equipment from Afghanistan would go to Pakistan, Dunford said “our commitment to the Afghan people and the Afghan National Security Forces is unwavering.”

Afghan President Hamid Karzai routinely lashes out at the United States for not attacking Pakistani territory where he says insurgents waging war against his government have found a safe sanctuary.

He has said the last 12 years of war should not have been fought on Afghan territory, but rather in the areas where insurgents hide, a reference to Pakistan. Islamabad routinely denies Karzai’s accusations that it aids insurgents while at the same time saying its tribal areas that border Afghanistan are infested with insurgents.

More than 4,000 Pakistani soldiers have been killed in the protracted battle against Pakistani insurgents hiding in the tribal areas.

Wright said the United States has also been trying to dispose of $6 billion of non-military hardware — such as desks, chairs, tables and generators — ahead of the final withdrawal of U.S. and NATO combat troops by the end of this year.

He said just this month the U.S. military received approval from Afghanistan’s Finance Ministry to sell off the non-lethal items to Afghan vendors. However Wright also said even non-lethal items could pose a threat and as a result some of it would be destroyed and sold to Afghans as scrap.

The U.S. began selling scrapped equipment to Afghans last year and made more than $42 million.

Wright said the reason for junking the equipment first is that “many non-military items have timing equipment or other components in them that can pose a threat. For example, timers can be attached to explosives. Treadmills, stationary bikes, many household appliances and devices, have timers.”

As a result they are sold as junk, which has infuriated Afghan vendors who told The Associated Press that they could make more money selling functional equipment. They also said timers are available for the equivalent of $1 making it unlikely insurgents would pay upward of $100 for a functioning treadmill just to get a timer.

——

twitter.com/kathygannon

14:18ET 31-03-14

[+]

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,



Readers Comments (0)

Comments are closed.

Featured

police-desi-shooting-gang wars

Vehicles flee after shots exchanged in Abbotsford

VANCOUVER DESI Police are investigating after a report of shots fired and vehicles fleeing the scene Thursday evening in Abbotsford. Around 7:30 p.m., Abbotsford police…
Continue Reading »

desi man charged with arson

Son-in-law charged with woman’s death in Richmond fire

GORDON MCINTYRE VANCOUVER DESI The son-in-law of a woman who died in a fire in her Richmond home on Monday has been charged with second-degree…
Continue Reading »

good samaritan

Edmonton car-crash victim searching for Good Samaritan who saved her life (with video)

KAREN HENDERSON EDMONTON JOURNAL EDMONTON – She never saw his face, or learned his last name. But she knows he helped save her life. It…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

police-desi-shooting-gang wars

Vehicles flee after shots exchanged in Abbotsford

VANCOUVER DESI Police are investigating after a report of shots fired and vehicles fleeing the scene Thursday evening in Abbotsford. Around 7:30 p.m., Abbotsford police…
Continue Reading »

desi man charged with arson

Son-in-law charged with woman’s death in Richmond fire

GORDON MCINTYRE VANCOUVER DESI The son-in-law of a woman who died in a fire in her Richmond home on Monday has been charged with second-degree…
Continue Reading »

good samaritan

Edmonton car-crash victim searching for Good Samaritan who saved her life (with video)

KAREN HENDERSON EDMONTON JOURNAL EDMONTON – She never saw his face, or learned his last name. But she knows he helped save her life. It…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

Indian recipes-Vancouver Desi

Taste India: Mix creamed spinach with crispy paneer

RANDY SHORE POSTMEDIA NEWS When I go looking for ways to use garden greens, I often turn to Indian cuisine. Saag paneer is creamed spinach…
Continue Reading »

Vancouver-Surrey

Sikh community celebrates a harvest of goodness in B.C

JAGDEESH MANN VANCOUVER DESI For Vancouver publisher, Harbinder Singh Sewak, the dream was four years in the making. This week, as millions of Sikhs around…
Continue Reading »

Narendra Modi welcomed in Toronto

Photos: Modi-mania hits Canada

VANCOUVER DESI Check out photos of Indian Prime Mininster Narendra Modi’s visit to Canada. RELATED STORIES: “Rock-star” Modi to get Bollywood-style welcome at Surrey Hindu…
Continue Reading »

Desi-shooting-Surrey

11 of 19 Surrey/Delta shootings between South Asian, Somalian groups

Even the wounded won’t help cops investigate drug dealers’ war KIM BOLAN POSTMEDIA NEWS METRO VANCOUVER — Two groups of young drug dealers who have…
Continue Reading »

Royal Wedding

Aga Khan’s eldest son Prince Rahim and his wife Kendra Salwa Spears announce birth of first child

VANCOUVER DESI The Aga Khan’s eldest son Prince Rahim and his wife Princess Salwa (Kendra Salwa Spears) announced the arrival of their first child Tuesday….
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

FRANCE-ENTERTAINMENT-CANNES-FILM-FESTIVAL

Bollywood divas Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Sonam Kapoor to dazzle Cannes 2015 (with photos)

IANS Mumbai – Actress Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, who is gearing up for her comeback on the silver screen, will be scorching the red carpet of…
Continue Reading »

Sonam Kapoor

Gallery: Bollywood fashionista Sonam Kapoor’s “Indian elements” at Cannes

VANCOUVER DESI As Bollywood actress Sonam Kapoor, our very own desi fashionista who likes fusion fashion and has often chosen classy ensembles with “Indian elements”…
Continue Reading »

Aishwarya Rai

Gallery: Aishwarya Rai’s hot and not styles at Cannes

ALMAS MEHERALLY VANCOUVER DESI When the world’s brightest stars walk the red carpet at Cannes this May, movie fans will be watching closely. Former beauty…
Continue Reading »