Procurement: Loot And Liability


June 8, 2010: The Taliban in Afghanistan obtained some valuable military equipment last month. This occurred when a Norwegian unit in the north was ambushed. Nine of the twenty troops, in four, six wheel armored vehicles, were wounded before air power could drive away the attackers. A medical helicopters and quick reaction force showed up and evacuated the Norwegians. But their four vehicles were damaged and left behind. These vehicles, with their four machine-guns and two 12.7mm sniper rifles (plus night sights and other night vision gear), were to be destroyed from the air. But nearby civilians rushed in to loot the vehicles, and the aircraft were ordered to abort their destruction mission. It was decided that the bad publicity from the dead civilian looters was more damaging than the Taliban getting their hands on this gear (including encryption equipped radios, which lacked code books). Senior commanders believed that another force could be sent into the area to bid against the Taliban for the looted items. If was not revealed if the NATO bids were made, or won the auction



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