Study: Pentagon Wasted $28 Million on the Wrong Kind of Camouflage

By Will Porter

The Pentagon overspent between $26 and $28 million on useless camouflage for the Afghan National Army (ANA), a government watchdog study found.

Conducted by the Special Investigator General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), the study not only found that between November 2008 and January 2017 the Defense Department purchased uniforms for the ANA without ensuring the suitability of the camouflage pattern for Afghan environs, but also overpaid for a proprietary pattern over more cost-effective options.

According to the study, the pattern chosen for the ANA uniforms may actually put soldiers at greater risk, making them stick out like a sore, green thumb against a tan landscape. Though some lands in the northern provinces of Afghanistan are lush and fertile—forests cover only 2.1 percent of the country’s land area—much of the country is either arid or semi-arid desert, making the green “forest” pattern chosen for the uniforms potentially worse than useless.

The Defense Department chose a “camouflage pattern without determining the pattern’s effectiveness in Afghanistan compared to other available patterns,” the report said in its conclusion. “As a result, neither DOD nor the Afghan government knows whether the ANA uniform is appropriate to the Afghan environment, or whether it actually hinders their operations by providing a more clearly visible target to the enemy.”

The pattern procured was a proprietary design created and owned by HyperStealth Biotechnology Corporation, a Canadian firm established in 1999.

The Defense Department personnel responsible for assisting the Afghans with uniform specifications found the HyperStealth company “through internet searches,” and the then-Afghan Defense Minister Abdul Rahim Wardak “liked what he saw,” ultimately settling on the forest pattern.

John Sopko, the special inspector general for SIGAR, was indigent about the DoD’s practices. “My concern is what if the [Afghan] minister of defense liked purple, or liked pink?” Sopko told USA Today. “Are we going to buy pink uniforms for soldiers and not ask questions?”

The decision cost the department tens of millions in additional tax dollars.

“DOD’s lack of due diligence and its decision to purchase ANA uniforms using a proprietary camouflage pattern appear to have resulted in unit costs that are significantly higher than those for similar non-proprietary camouflaged uniforms, potentially costing the U.S. taxpayers an additional $26.65 million–$28.23 million since 2008,” the study found.

Failure to find a different, non-proprietary pattern for ANA uniforms could cost U.S. taxpayers between $68.61 million and $72.21 million over the next ten years.

The SIGAR study also discovered that the Defense Department may have violated the Federal Acquisition Regulation, a law barring sweetheart contracts to favored companies. “Agency requirements shall not be written so as to require a particular brand name, product, or a feature of a product, peculiar to one manufacturer, thereby precluding consideration of a product manufactured by another company,” unless somehow that brand serves a purpose other brands cannot, the regulation reads.

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There was, in fact, resistance from some officials at the DoD to the decision to award the contract for some 1.3 million uniforms to a sole source, HyperStealth, but it apparently was not enough to prevent the deal from being inked.

“The DOD contracting office believed that, because there were so many available camouflage patterns in the world that a sole-source award would be hard to justify,” the SIGAR study said. “For example, aside from the many patterns available from commercial sources other than HyperStealth, the U.S. government already had rights to multiple uniform patterns that were not in use by U.S. forces that could have been used by the ANA and may have been equally effective in the Afghan environment.”

The study recommends a cost-benefit analysis of the pattern, which the DoD says it intends to do.

“DoD concurs in the suggestion contained in this report that a DoD organization with expertise in military uniforms should conduct a cost-benefit analysis [. . .] to determine whether there is a more effective alternative, considering both operational environment and cost,” wrote Jedidiah Royal, the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia, in a letter responding to the study.

As of March 31, Congress has allocated $66 billion to supporting the fledgling Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, out of a total $117.3 billion spent on “reconstruction” activities in Afghanistan since 2002.

Previously, SIGAR has noted cases of extremely wasteful military spending, finding, for example, that the department had spent nearly a half-billion dollars on transport aircraft for the Afghans which were found “unfit for use and were scrapped for pennies on the pound.”

While a new troop deployment of several thousand American soldiers is expected to be announced in the coming weeks, the findings of the SIGAR study only highlight how much treasure has been squandered in the Afghan conflict, now the longest-running war in American history.

“This is just simply stupid on its face,” Sopko told USA Today. “We wasted $28 million of taxpayers’ money in the name of fashion, because the defense minister thought that that pattern was pretty. So if he thought pink or chartreuse was it, would we have done that?”

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Contributed by Will Porter of The Daily Sheeple.

Will Porter is a staff writer and reporter for The Daily Sheeple. Wake the flock up – follow Will’s work at our Facebook or Twitter.


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7 Comments on "Study: Pentagon Wasted $28 Million on the Wrong Kind of Camouflage"

  1. It is time to replace all government ,agencies,staff,etc with robots. This will save the taxpayer mega bucks and they are suppose to work better and faster. I’ts time.

  2. The question is really: Why are we purchasing with American taxpayer money Afghan National Army uniforms? Who the F authorized this costing American taxpayers $26-$28 million dollars? They really are not our friends. They hid Bin Laden for years right outside of their Secret Service training center. All this and Marines have to do with WWII outdated and not warrior friendly armored chest protectors.

  3. Grace by Faith | June 28, 2017 at 6:45 pm | Reply

    Here’s the problem with military/government propaganda: it’s horsepoo. And in this case it’s clear this is money stolen from us that went somewhere else, most likely into the pockets of those in charge. This article reads they spent $28 million on the wrong color camo uniforms for the Afghan National Army between the years of 2008 and 2017. Do they really want us to believe that after the first shipment of the wrong color camouflage they didn’t correct it? They just kept sending wrong camo for 8 more years and the Afghan soldiers wore them, making them stand out in the desert like sore thumbs? Riiiight.

    There are approximately 200,000 total Afghan National Army soldiers, half of whom are in the Air Force, eliminating the necessity for desert camo. That leaves 100,000 Army soldiers needing uniforms. $28,000,000 divided by 100,000 = $280 each, so what, were they studded with Swarovski crystals? Made of silk? Handcrafted with personalized, embroidered name tags? Of course not, they probably had them made in China, so they could’ve been as low as 20 bucks each, so did each soldier get 14 uniforms? ($17.95! see the website I can’t post here: made-in-china dot com – products hot-china-products – Military_Uniform). All in the wrong color? Puh-lease.

    That took me all of five minutes to research, which was long enough to prove this is just more BS from the uncle (Sam) of BS, “the government”.

  4. We need the Afghan National Army to keep the drug trade stable for years to come, too much money behind the opium trade. We were in Viet Nam when they were the top opium exporter.
    Super strange days, Watch Bill Cooper predict 9/11 on YouTube

  5. I guarantee you, the money was not wasted. Those government contractors made good use of the money on things they need. You know, cars, booze, smack and the rest.

  6. George W Obama | June 29, 2017 at 3:20 pm | Reply

    The camouflage was perfect! You thought they spent the money on camouflage?

    Reminds me of Stalin sending his army into Finland wearing the same type of camouflage in a snow covered landscape.

  7. Grace by Faith | June 29, 2017 at 7:37 pm | Reply

    Here’s the problem with military/government propaganda: it’s horsepoo. And in this case it’s clear this is money stolen from us that went somewhere else, most likely into the pockets of those in charge. This article reads they spent $28 million on the wrong color camo uniforms for the Afghan National Army between the years of 2008 and 2017. Do they really want us to believe that after the first shipment of the wrong color camouflage they didn’t correct it? They just kept sending wrong camo for 8 more years and the Afghan soldiers wore them, making them stand out in the desert like sore thumbs? Riiiight.

    There are approximately 200,000 total Afghan National Army soldiers, half of whom are in the Air Force, eliminating the necessity for desert camo. That leaves 100,000 Army soldiers needing uniforms. $28,000,000 divided by 100,000 = $280 each, so what, were they studded with Swarovski crystals? Made of silk? Handcrafted with personalized, embroidered name tags? Of course not, they probably had them made in China, so they could’ve been as low as 20 bucks each, so did each soldier get 14 uniforms? ($17.95! I googled it). All in the wrong color? Puh-lease.

    That took me all of five minutes to research, which was long enough to prove this is just more BS from the uncle (Sam) of BS, “the government”.

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