As the United States begins the major phase of its withdrawal from Afghanistan, military officials say equipment and vehicles are moving out of the country briskly, but that planning the final details has been complicated because negotiations with the Afghan government are stalled over how many troops might remain.
The complex push to get the equipment and vehicles out of land-locked Afghanistan and back to the U.S. is expected to cost up to $7 billion.
A year ago, the U.S. had about 50,000 vehicles in Afghanistan. About 25,000 are left, along with 20,000 shipping containers. About 1,200 damaged, worn out or outmoded mine-resistant trucks will be chopped up and sold for scrap, and other vehicles will be loaned to partners in the NATO-led coalition here, turned over to Afghan forces or sold to friendly nations, said Brig. Gen. Duane A. Gamble, deputy commander of the 1st Theater Sustainment Command in Kabul.
The coalition’s combat mission ends in December 2014. Senior U.S. commanders say they expect Afghanistan to sign an agreement calling for some U.S. troops to remain in the country as trainers and advisers. But negotiations over those remaining troops have been on hold for months now.