A newly released Pentagon report has concluded that U.S. military bases used to house Afghan nationals that were evacuated from Afghanistan amid President Joe Biden’s pullout from the country have sustained hundreds of millions of dollars worth of damage.
This report is available after approximately 76,000 Afghan nationals were evacuated in a few days to staging areas in Qatar, Spain, Italy and Bahrain in August 2021.
The evacuees were then sent to temporary housing facilities at eight DoD installations — Fort Bliss, Texas; Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (JBMDL), New Jersey; Fort McCoy, Wisconsin; Camp Atterbury, Indiana; Fort Pickett, Virginia; Fort Lee, Virginia; Marine Corps Base (MCB) Quantico, Virginia; and Holloman Air Force Base (AFB), New Mexico.
The U.S. Department of Defense Inspector general said 11 installations submitted estimates for equipment and consumables reset to pre-Operation Allies Welcome Conditions.
The costs were broken down into two categories: Facilities and Equipment/Consumables.
According to the report there was $257.48 Million in damage to facilities.
DoD restoration experts determined that $238.04 Million in damages could be covered by Overseas Humanitarian, Disaster, and Civic Aid funds.
The report said that the remainder in damages to facilities and damages to equipment/consumables — more than $100 million — would need to paid for through the operation and maintenance or military construction appropriations allocated to each involved DoD Component.
Air Force officials stated, for example, that the damage done to Afghan nationals could not be repaired as described by officials “tables, chairs, and cots broken by guests and tents and cots ruined by spray paint, human biological matter, and holes.”
The high costs to U.S. taxpayers resulted in damaging the U.S. military’s preparedness for military operations, the report said.
“DoD installations reported that facilities and equipment were overused, damaged, and remained in various degrees of disrepair, resulting in a costly maintenance effort,” The inspector general was satisfied. “DoD installations need to restore their facilities and equipment to a condition that enables them to conduct trainings, prepare for future events, and return to normal base operations.”
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