SecDef Mattis upset at Pentagon wasting $28 million on Afghan uniforms with wrong camo pattern


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/07/24/oops-camo.html


#2

It’s kind of refreshing to hear of a Trump appointee saying something reasonable and the sort of news you saw for years and years under previous presidencies. I mean it’s Mattis, who’s reasonably well liked for his position, so there’s that.


#3

It depends on what the uniform is for. Sometimes it is more important to identify the wearer rather than hide him.


#4

Did they really spend $28 million on forest camouflage-patterned uniforms, or did they shift $28 million in old inventory which couldn’t possibly be mistaken for American uniforms in the area?


#5

Part of the waste was LICENSING the patterns. The US owns dozens of patterns that Natick has developed over the years. You could very easily have had custom uniforms made in the DCU or Dessert Storm “Chocolate chip” pattern that would have worked, been distinctive enough to identify friend from foe and cost an order of magnitude less.


#6

$28 million on forest camouflage-patterned uniforms for Afghan National Army soldiers

That’s about what US taxpayers cash is wasted in Afghan every hour. WTF is his point here?


#7

Distraction, playing to the prejudices of the GOP base (“taxpayer dollars”) and possibly justifying a withdrawal.

TrumpGOP don’t want the troops pointlessly tied up in already-devastated Afghanistan; they have other plans for them.


#8

I am sure you’re joking, but not even close.

0_o We have been withdrawing for years. There is only a fraction left.

If you ask me, someone wanting to spend government money wisely - especially in the defense sector, is welcomed. $28mil is a drop in the bucket, but it’s a start. At least get uniforms that help hide them some.


#9

Fun sponge…

But yeah, it was more like 28 billion a minute, that’s what we know anyways…


#10

28 million is literally below threshold for a lot of large scale DoD contracts, to even be considered material. I mean that’s great someone actually gives a shit, and it’s shocking Trumps guy actually does. However, I have seen dollar amounts of dead-to-right wasteful spending ignored because nobody cared, and made that 28 million look like a snack fund.

I will never ever spill details as it would be a terrible idea, but let’s just say I come home regularly from my job aggravated at how much waste we just toss down the toilet in tax payer money, and DoD budget.


#11

I realize criticizing Mattis is like throwing poop at the Baby Jesus, but until he starts court-martialing colonels and generals for incompetence - not just “reassigning” them or letting them retire quietly at full pension - none of this will ever stop happening.


#12

He’s not joking, because, in your own words…

Yes, it’s a metric fuckton of money for mere mortals like you and me, but it’s absolute chump change in the context of US foreign wars, which are maintained as a subsidy to the subset of the billionaire class who have specific interest in the military-industrial complex.

EDIT TO ADD:

I am 100% with you on this count, regardless of context.


#13

Yah.

Mattis is not the “good” Trumpeter. He is not “the adult in the room”.

He’s a bloodthirsty, bigoted loon who was thrown out of the military when he got caught attempting to unilaterally manufacture a war with Iran. He’s just as bent and dangerous as the rest of the TrumpGOP crew.


#14

Did he proceed to blame Obama and/or Hillary as part of this declaration?


#15

I don’t care whether this was intentional or not, it’s adorable.


#16

Surely you jest? Chocolate chip was itself a failure as it was not only wrong for Iraq but Afghanistan as well and ended up replaced pretty quickly at large cost.

Facts have become increasingly unpopular round these parts lately.

Thats a whole lot of invectives there, at least 6 depending on how one counts. I saw your “drums of war” stuff but the more I’ve read about Mattis, the less I found that article to be the least bit credible.

Check out all the variants of Chocolate Chip:

http://camopedia.org/index.php?title=Chocolate_Chip


#17

I jest not. It’s still in active use by some militaries, Including the ANA. As a uniform, simply for military purposes, It would be acceptably cheap. As camouflage in exclusively sandy areas, it’s a failure. Not so in rockier terrain.

All that being said, camouflage in mountainous, poorly forested areas like Afghanistan is really fairly silly anyway. Solid color OD green or desert Tan would be sufficient for uniforming purposes, as it’s unlikely that most ANA soldiers are going to be sneaking up on anyone.


#18

If you’re talking about law enforcement uniforms or dress uniforms, sure. But I’m pretty sure the whole point of camouflage on combat uniforms is for blending in to one’s surroundings.


#19

Sure, used in lots of places, see the camopedia link above. I was under the impression that it actually did not test well in rocky terrain either.

Moot point of course since as you say and as Mattis pointed out, woodland camo is probably unsuitable in any case for the ANA.


#20

It’s just one of many requirements. In large part the specific cam pattern is a fashion thing*, and to distinctively identify which nation you belong to. Otherwise we’d all be wearing the same thing.

* that’s why everyone rushed into their own variant of ‘digi-cam’ a few years ago, and are now rushing headlong into their own variant of Crye multicam