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Mon Dec 31, 2012, 07:31 AM

Afghans angry at US soldiers who drove away in the night leaving rent unpaid


Only sign of huge US base is pile of rubbish and broken vehicles – and a festering land dispute in a volatile province

Afghans angry at US soldiers who drove away in the night leaving rent unpaid
By Emma Graham-Harrison, The Guardian
Sunday, December 30, 2012 17:23 EST

US forces left behind piles of equipment, an unpaid rent bill and a festering land dispute that threatens to undermine the Afghan government when they moved out of a volatile corner of eastern Kunar province this year, local officials and their former landlords say.

The only clue that a base that dominated Pashengar village for years had been abandoned for good was the midnight rumble of a convoy of trucks. In the morning, locals found guards gone, buildings blown up and, scattered around what had been a forbidding military encampment, piles of detritus from years of western living in a remote, mountainous valley.

Rows of air conditioning units stuck out of a damaged wall, a giant, dilapidated generator was marooned near shipping containers and twisted, dented vehicles remained. But there was no sign of a cheque for a landlord who said years of rent, running to hundreds of thousands of dollars, was owing to him.

“They stayed six years and only paid rent for one year,” said Haji Najibullah Khan, who grew up in the Pashengar house that became a US base. He said the departing US commander warned him off pushing for rent money when they met a few weeks before the soldiers drove away in the night.

unhappycamper comment: This is how not to win hearts and minds.

For this we are paying >$2 billion dollars a week?

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Reply Afghans angry at US soldiers who drove away in the night leaving rent unpaid (Original post)
unhappycamper Dec 2012 OP
gtar100 Dec 2012 #1
Victor_c3 Dec 2012 #2
Post removed Jan 2013 #3

Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 07:46 AM

1. What's the problem, military? Just not enough money in your budget?

More proof that our military is *not* being led by the best or the brightest. For all the money we give them, they still act like just another self-serving organization concerned more about themselves than the mission they pretend to have.

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Response to gtar100 (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 10:39 AM

2. I wish I had references to cite for this

but I remember reading over and over again scathing analysis regarding our top commanders. Studies cite the devotion and quality of our ground troops, but say over and over again that our top commanders are crap. For the most part, I have to agree.

However, that being said, I really liked my division commander when I was deployed to Iraq, MG John R. S. Batiste. Since leaving the military he also has become a somewhat of a spokesperson for the votevets.org group (a progressive group of veterans that I love). My brigade commander wasn't too bad either (COL Dana J. H. Pittard). He has since received at least one star and is a general now. He took civilian casualties and winning the hearts and minds of the people to heart. In his office, he had pictures of many (maybe even all) of the dead children that were killed by our unit when we were in Iraq.

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