Friday, December 05, 2008

Speaking of Afghanistan ...

Here's a tidbit that we missed a few months back, and which shows just how earnest the US effort there has really been.

Back in March, the Times reported that a $300 million government contract for ammunition, intended to supply the Afghan army, had been awarded to a company headed by a 22-year-old, assisted by a licensed masseur.  

They told the government that they would ship some Hungarian bullets.  We have no idea how reliable Hungarian ammunition is, but it doesn't really matter, because what they actually delivered were cases and cases of Chinese ammo manufactured in 1966.  For those who don't know, bullets go bad on the shelf, gradually losing their accuracy and power.  In other words, the stuff was junk.

Read the article; it's long, but disturbing.  The seller, one Efraim Diveroli, is a girlfriend-abusing thug.  But beyond that, the government specs were also responsible:  because the ammo was "foreign and nonstandard," meaning that it fits the universally used AK-47 instead of the US M-16, no age limits or testing requirements were included in the contract, even though the Chinese, Russia and and NATO all have such limits and requirements for this stuff.

Just one more minor scandal of the Bush years.  How much longer until January 20th?

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