- 11.04.2014

America Cuts its Losses as it Plans its Exit from Afghanistan

On April 4th 2014, Fox News reported that after spending 12 years in occupying Afghanistan, the US is finally withdrawing and leaving behind an estimated $6 billion worth of equipment, which includes military equipment as well as other items. But the discussions equipment disposal masks a deeper malaise in America's ability to win wars.


It has been reported that some 170 million pounds of vehicles, equipment and "white gear"— that's all the non-military stuff that contractors have been using, like furniture, generators, chemical toilets, air conditioners, non-classified computers and more— are being left behind. Some reports indicate that most of the $6 billion worth of materiel will indeed be sold for scrap or thrown in the junkyard. This includes 850 MRAPS (Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected) vehicles which have been credited with saving countless lives from improvised explosive devices (IEDs) on the road, but now will either be given to an allied country (as long as they pay the shipping costs) or for scrap on the Afghan market.

In the month of February alone, Defence Logistics Agency (DLA) Disposition Services sold 34.7 million pounds of scrap from its own vehicles and equipment to local Afghan vendors, according to figures provided to And in the past 12 months, the agency sold 387 million pounds of scrap, sending $46.5 million back to the U.S. Treasury. According to figures supplied by Army spokesperson Wayne Hall, there is currently $15.5 billion worth of Army equipment still in the country -- and $17.6 billion worth of overall U.S. military equipment, Wright said. The Army plans to retain $10.2 billion of that, including things like trucks, trailers, and MRAPs, as well as about 100,000 20-foot shipping containers carrying repair parts and other small equipment and supplies. What the US cannot, or will not, donate or sell to the Afghans or to allies is being destroyed so that it doesn't fall into the hands Taliban.

While the US deliberates on how to dispose of its military equipment, the cost of the war effort continues to mount. According to the Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government 2013 report, this accounted for roughly 20 per cent of the total amount added to the US national debt between 2001 and 2012. The report states: "The Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, taken together, will be the most expensive wars in US history—totalling somewhere between $4 trillion and $6 trillion. This includes long-term medical care and disability compensation for service members, veterans and families, military replenishment and social and economic costs. The largest portion of that bill is yet to be paid."

So after having spent circa $6 trillion in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to suppress Islam, America is exiting after witnessing defeat and humiliation. Both countries are increasingly unstable and are fast becoming hubs for Islamic revival not democracy. This increasingly threatens not only America's primacy in the Middle East and Eurasia, but also spells the end of decades of Western dominance. Allah says in the Quran:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا يُنْفِقُونَ أَمْوَالَهُمْ لِيَصُدُّوا عَنْ سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ ۚ فَسَيُنْفِقُونَهَا ثُمَّ تَكُونُ عَلَيْهِمْ حَسْرَةً ثُمَّ يُغْلَبُونَ ۗ وَالَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا إِلَىٰ جَهَنَّمَ يُحْشَرُونَ

"Those who disbelieve spend their wealth barring access to the Way of Allah. They will spend it; then they will regret it; then they will be overthrown. Those who are disbelievers will be gathered into Hell."

(Al-Anfaal, 8:36)

Written for The Central Media Office of Hizb ut Tahrir by

Abu Hashim