Seriously, Pentagon on paper spent $93m on camouflage uniforms
Wednesday, 21 June 2017

The Pentagon spent $93.81 million over the past decade to provide Afghan troops with uniforms of a “forest” camouflage pattern which is largely unsuitable for Afghanistan’s landscape, according to a report by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). Which translated means someone at the Pentagon just pocketed millions.

But, lets continue, and see what this "report" says...

“Forests cover only 2.1% of Afghanistan’s total land area,” the report notes. The 17-page document further estimates that the Pentagon wasted up to $28 million simply because it chose to buy the pattern from a private firm. Translation, a buddy at the Pentagon who'se got a company registered on paper, just pocketed $28m.

“CSTC-A’s decision to procure ANA uniforms using a proprietary camouflage pattern was not based on its appropriateness for the Afghan environment and appears to have cost up to $28 million more than buying similar uniforms using a non-proprietary camouflage pattern,” the report says.

In 2007, the Pentagon offered the woodland pattern to Afghanistan’s Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak and, according to the SIGAR report, he “liked what he saw.”

“My concern is what if the minister of defense liked purple, or liked pink? Are we going to buy pink uniforms for soldiers and not ask questions? That’s insane. This is just simply stupid on its face,"  Special Inspector General John Sopko told USA TODAY. "We wasted $28 million of taxpayers’ money in the name of fashion, because the defense minister thought that that pattern was pretty. So if he thought pink or chartreuse was it, would we have done that?”

The Pentagon did not dispute SIGAR’s findings, and in a statement by Jedidiah Royal, the acting deputy assistant secretary of defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia, said, “DoD concurs in the suggestion contained in this report that a DoD organization with expertise in military uniforms should conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the current Afghan National Army (ANA) uniform specifications to determine whether there is a more effective alternative, considering both operational environment and cost.”

Notably, in 2010 HyperStealth which sold the forest pattern, acknowledged the woodland design may seem an “odd choice” for Afghanistan, but said “there was a great deal of research which went into the selection process,” with one of the suggested benefits being, “Darker colors have a greater psychological impact (based on numerous studies) providing a greater sense of authority and strength to both the user and the viewer than lighter colors do.”

Sen. Chuck Grassley, an Iowa Republican and senior member of the Budget and Finance committees, blasted what SIGAR concluded was a waste of millions of taxpayer money: “You’d think the Pentagon would have had a good handle on how to pick the right camouflage for uniforms,” he said. “Those who wasted money on the wrong camouflage uniforms seem to have lost sight of their common sense.”

Right. This is similar to the 'report' that companies were charging the US Government $24 for a can of soda, $1,200 for an electrical outlet (cost 55 cents in Lowes), $3,800 for a toilet bowl (cost $70 in Lowes). 

Someone in Government always pockets this money, either directly or through third party firms that in many cases exist only on paper.  Government contracts are lucrative for all parties involved, the only people screwed are the taxpayers.


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