Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Now that's army surplus

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Facing a tight withdrawal deadline and tough terrain, the U.S. military has destroyed more than 80 million kilograms of vehicles and other military equipment as it rushes to wind down its role in the Afghanistan war by the end of 2014.

The massive disposal effort, which U.S. military officials call unprecedented, has unfolded largely out of sight amid an ongoing debate inside the Pentagon about what to do with the heaps of equipment that won't be returning home. Military planners have determined that more than $7 billion worth of equipment -- about 20 per cent of what the U.S. military has in Afghanistan -- will not be shipped back, because it is no longer needed or would be too costly to send home.

Much of it will continue to be shredded, cut and crushed to be sold for pennies per pound on the Afghan scrap market -- a process that reflects a presumptive end to an era of protracted ground wars.

-- The Washington Post

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 22, 2013 D5

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