Tags: Afghanistan | Middle East | War on Terrorism | Pentagon | camouflage uniform purchase | Sen. Claire McCaskill | Sen. Chuck Grassley

Lawmakers Question $28 Million Spent on Camouflage Uniforms for Afghan Troops

Image: Lawmakers Question $28 Million Spent on Camouflage Uniforms for Afghan Troops
(Getty Images)

By    |   Sunday, 23 Jul 2017 08:22 PM

Lawmakers are calling on the Pentagon to explain why officials approved $28 million to be spent on private-label camouflage uniforms for Afghan soldiers that depict a forest pattern when woodlands make up a mere 2 percent of the country, USA Today reported Sunday.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., sent a letter Friday to the Pentagon about a report from the Special Inspector for Afghanistan Reconstruction that showed the uniforms were purchased without any tests for their effectiveness.

McCaskill, the ranking Democrat on the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, wanted an explanation by August for why the uniforms were purchased without competitive bidding.

"This is a contracting decision that makes you smack your head in frustration," McCaskill said in a statement. "It's a prime example of wasting hard-earned taxpayer dollars, and we've got to get to the bottom of how this happened."

Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, criticized the decision to purchase the uniforms as well, calling it "embarrassing and an affront to U.S. taxpayers." Grassley is the senior member of the Senate Budget and Finance Committee who pointed to a part of the report that explained Afghan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak made the purchasing decision because he "liked what he saw" after finding them on an internet search.

A panel of the House Armed Services Committee wants answers as well and has called John Sopko, the inspector general, to testify Tuesday. Sopko criticized the purchase in June, which included more expensive features such as zippers instead of buttons.

The Pentagon does not refute the report and admitted in a written response they needed to study whether cheaper alternatives were available.

Afghan soldiers do fight Taliban insurgents and other terrorist groups where forest camouflage would be appropriate, but no testing was done to determine if the uniforms purchased were suitable, the article explained. In addition, the U.S. military already owns but does not use a camouflage pattern that could have saved $71 million, according to the report.

Since the war began, Congress has approved $66 billion for Afghan security forces. Defense Secretary James Mattis is currently considering increasing the number of Afghan troops.

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
Politics
Lawmakers are calling on the Pentagon to explain why officials approved $28 million to be spent on private-label camouflage uniforms for Afghan soldiers that depict a forest pattern when woodlands make up a mere 2 percent of the country, USA Today reported Sunday.Sen....
Pentagon, camouflage uniform purchase, Sen. Claire McCaskill, Sen. Chuck Grassley
352
2017-22-23
Sunday, 23 Jul 2017 08:22 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved