It is a January sale with a difference. The American military is auctioning off millions of pounds of tankers, accommodation blocks, tents, generators and other “white goods” in Afghanistan ahead of next year’s deadline for the end of combat operations.
In a tender document published on Friday, buyers are invited to offer a percentage of the equipment’s original value by January 10 when sealed bids will be opened.
There is just one snag. According to the brochure, “all property listed therein is offered for sale ‘as is’ and ‘where is’,” which means successful bidders will have to collect their lots from some of the most dangerous terrain in the world, the forward operating bases used by US troops as they battled the Taliban.
The equipment includes everything necessary to keep a military camp running. That means water and sewage systems, laundry and kitchen facilities – from giant cooking ranges to water purification systems – as well as fortifications and barriers.
Once a deal is done, the new owners will have just 96 hours to collect the kit from wherever it might be, whether Bagram air base outside Kabul or one of the dozens of remote forward operating base close to Taliban territory.
Phi Beta Iota: Whom, exactly, do We the People hold accountable for invading Iraq and Afghanistan on the basis of hundreds of lies told to the public and Congress, borrowing and spending trillions of dollars, wantonly killing tens of thousands of people in our name, and now walking away from the people’s investment?