Americans pay millions of dollars for damaged homes by Afghans

WASHINGTON — One of the first crises that the new administration of US President Mr. Joe Biden had to deal with was the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of Afghans from the conflict zone. About 120,000 people were airlifted in August 2021 from Afghanistan after the Taliban came to power in Kabul.

Americans pay millions of dollars for damaged homes by Afghans
Photo by Barbara Davidson

A large part of the evacuees were Afghans. During the 20 years of American military presence, Afghans provided support to American soldiers in the region. Translators, scouts, soldiers, and more worked with the US military in Afghanistan.

On the days of the evacuation, planes from Kabul carrying Afghans took off and landed temporarily at bases in Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Spain, Italy, Bahrain and Germany. These countries were their temporary stay before being transported in peace to US military bases in the US. The last Afghan evacuee to leave his temporary American home did so in February of this year.

The Pentagon stated

In their new American homes at various military bases around the country, the Afghans waited months to be granted US citizenship. The military bases where they were stationed are Fort Bliss, Texas; Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst, NJ; Fort McCoy, Wis.; Camp Atterbury, Indiana; Fort Pickett, Fort Lee and Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia; and Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico.

After the departure of the last Afghan evacuees, the Pentagon ordered an inspection of the homes in which they were accommodated. It turns out that many of the homes are unusable. The Afghans have caused material damage. They are estimated at 260 million USD, which the American sled payer will now have to pay.

Some of the buildings are so unusable that they will need major repairs. The Pentagon’s inspector general found damage to the plumbing system of some homes, as well as to the walls and load-bearing walls of the buildings. The Chief Inspector found actual significant wear and tear on the homes.

There are also smaller damages that can be called “home freshening” and are related to repurchasing mattresses and furniture. Some damage involved major repairs to floors and flooring, doors, windows, fire alarm systems and green garden areas.

There are doubts

However, the inspector general from the Pentagon has doubts whether all the described damages in the eight bases are related to the stay of the Afghan emigrants. For example, for the Fort McCoy base, the Pentagon allocated a cost of just over 145 million USD. However, 12,700 Afghan refugees lived in this base. On the other hand, two other bases [Fort Bliss and Fort Pickett], which housed almost the same number of refugees, received less overall recovery funds.


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