“… And nobody to use it.” Washpost


"The windowless, two-story structure, which is larger than a football field, was completed this year at a cost of $34 million. But the military has no plans to ever use it. Commanders in the area, who insisted three years ago that they did not need the building, now are in the process of withdrawing forces and see no reason to move into the new facility.
For many senior officers, the unused headquarters has come to symbolize the staggering cost of Pentagon mismanagement: As American troops pack up to return home, U.S.-funded contractors are placing the finishing touches on projects that are no longer required or pulling the plug after investing millions of dollars."  Washpost


 Yup.  They are going to demolish it.  That's a shame.  It would make a great goat barn.  This folly and some of the others listed here are monuments to rigidity and a lack of realism in the military construction process.  This started in 2009?  Wasn't Stanley McChrystal up in Kabul then doing things like shutting down a Cappucino bar in his headquarters.  How did he and/or Petraeus miss this foolishness?  During the period in which this facility was constructed troops in field outposts were living in hovels like some of those I have seen pictured.

At the same time, someone made a lot of money on this and other foolish projects. The whole story of the Afghanistan War has been edited in such a way as to disguise the magnitude of the graft involved on the part of American and Afghan contracters.  This could only hqave happened with the connivance of people who were at or near the top in US Government.

Karzai knows how corrupt the contracting process has been.  That does not make US relations with him any easier. pl 



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12 Responses to “… And nobody to use it.” Washpost

  1. Neil Richardson says:

    Dear Col. Lang:
    Ted Westhusing had called out Petraeus and Fil on it before he took his own life.
    As for Petraeus and Fil, as kids today are wont to say “Karma’s a bitch.” The joke of it all was that Fil was due to become the IG after EUSA.
    Records show that the Pentagon inspector general also upheld misconduct charges last year against Fil, another three-star Army general and former commander of the Eighth Army in South Korea.
    The Army said Fil retired at a lesser rank, as a major general, last summer. Both the Army and the inspector general’s office declined to comment on the investigation that targeted him.
    In a brief phone interview, Fil acknowledged that the inspector general had upheld two misconduct charges against him but he declined to elaborate.
    “It was an extraordinary extension of the rules, beyond common sense,” he said from his home in Alabama. “But I don’t think it would be wise or helpful to plow into this thing.”

  2. turcopolier says:

    There is a culture of entitlement abroad among army seniors. There has always been some of that but it seems much stronger now. Westhusing was the opposite, but surely his unalloyed faith in the nobility of the war in Iraq seems a bit absurd? pl

  3. VietnamVet says:

    I am shocked that it looks like the military contractor’s Afghanistan gravy train is about to derail.
    One of the problems with a privatized military is that contractors don’t get the maximum payoff unless the USA is fighting a war. Thanks to the revolving door between contractors and the officer corps and the war profiteers financing of Congressional and Presidential campaigns, there is hellish pressure to fight never ending wars.
    The other problem with the current military is that without the draft America cannot afford the million plus boots on the ground that would be required to bring peace in the wars it fights. For example, the Benghazi assault occurred because there were no American troops on the ground to secure the city and the consulate.
    Even the media has mentioned that military contractors are preparing for Mexico next. At least the graft will be spent closer to home. A Syrian intervention will supersede all of this

  4. Tony says:

    “They are going to demolish it”. Why not just giving it to the Afghans?

  5. Medicine Man says:

    They are probably getting paid to demolish it too.
    First you dig the holes, then you fill them in…

  6. MS2 says:

    The fuel trucked into Afghanistan at stupendous cost was then made available to freight aircraft so cheap that they would fill their tanks to the brim there, rather than wait until Dubai. I suppose this kept the cash flow of the security providers high. This came up after the Bagram 747 crash:

  7. Alba Etie says:

    It seems to me that the graft evidenced with this building would be a perfect vehicle for the right wing conservatives & fiscally responsible liberals to mount an aggressive campaign against graft, fraud & corruption . This thirty four million dollars edifice to greed would make a wonderful target for bi-carmel non partisan comity to get at our budget shortfalls.But of course our Congress critters are to busy fussing & fighting with each other over DOMA and such to actually try to represent We the People and to protect our collective tax dollars .

  8. Stanley Henning says:

    Idiotic projects like this are another indication of where our nation is heading under totally ignorant on one hand and greedy on the other “leadership”. And all of us below the Monied Magnates will suffer dearly.

  9. mbrenner says:

    Re Petraeus, I am reminded of the hearing held by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee back in the late 1940s on the dire situation of the Kuomintang in China. A theme was the corruption and incompetence of Generalissimo Chiang Kai-Shek. Texas Senator & Chair, Tom Connally, in fustration demanded that he do more “generaling” and less “issimoing.” We have our own parade horses. Also, the ‘Desert Ox” as Ray Odierno was known unaffectionately by many subordinates.

  10. turcopolier says:

    “The peanut” as Stilwell called him lost his own war in spite of the masses of aid that we gave the Kuomintang. pl

  11. John Minnerath says:

    This explains the problem.
    Stilwell’s enemies killed him over Chiang Kai-Shek.

  12. Also despite a conspicuous lack of support from the Soviets, as Mao recalled when describing what he saw as Stalin’s ‘errors’ to Khrushchev in 1958:
    “Mao Zedong: … His first major error was one as a result of which the Chinese Communist Party was left with one-tenth of the territory that it had. His second error was that, when China was ripe for revolution, he advised us not to rise in revolution and said that if we started a war with Jiang Jieshi that might threaten the entire nation with destruction.
    “N.S. Khrushchev: Wrong. A nation cannot be destroyed.
    “Mao Zedong: But that is how Stalin’s cable read. Therefore I believe that the relationship between the Parties was incorrect. After the victory of our Revolution, Stalin had doubts about its character. He believed that China was another Yugoslavia.
    “N.S. Khrushchev: Yes, he considered it possible.
    “Mao Zedong: When I came to Moscow [in December 1949], he did not want to conclude a treaty of friendship with us and did not want to annul the old treaty with the Guomindang [Kuomintang]. I recall that [Soviet interpreter Nikolai] Fedorenko and [Stalin’s emissary to the PRC Ivan] Kovalev passed me his [Stalin’s] advice to take a trip around the country, to look around. But I told them that I have only three tasks: eat, sleep and shit. I did not come to Moscow only to congratulate Stalin on his birthday. Therefore I said that if you do not want to conclude a treaty of friendship, so be it. I will fulfill my three tasks. Last year, when I was in Moscow, in a conversation where [Soviet Premier Minister Nikolai] Bulganin was also present, we heard that Stalin had bugged us back then.
    “N.S. Khrushchev: Yes, I said it at that time. He had bugged us as well, he even bugged himself. Once, when I was on vacation with him, he admitted that he mistrusted himself. I am good-for-nothing, he said, I mistrust myself.”
    (See http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/112080 )
    The slightly different version of the last anecdote in Khrushchev’s memoirs has Stalin remarking, ‘I’m finished. I don’t trust anyone. Not even myself.’

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