According to a recent Department of Defense (DOD) assessment, the bases utilized by the US military to host Afghan evacuees sustained $260 million in damages, which the Air Force deemed irreparable.
The eight bases housing the refugees in Texas, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Virginia, New Mexico, and Indiana are requesting repair funds after sustaining more than a quarter of a billion dollars in damage, the DOD inspector general revealed last week.
120,000 evacuees were transported to the US over the course of 17 days during the tragic, disastrous withdrawal that led to Taliban takeover of Afghanistan.
“Air Force officials described tables, chairs and cots broken by guests and tents and cots ruined by spray paint, human biological matter and holes. The Air Force described materials as ‘completely depleted, such that no materials remain available for other real world missions,” according to a Pentagon report.
Some of the building damage rendered them unsuitable for the troops until the walls and pipes were fixed.
Installations run by the DoD reported that their facilities and equipment were misused, damaged, and in varying states of disrepair, necessitating expensive maintenance work. In order to undertake training, plan for the future, and resume regular base operations, DoD locations must repair their structures and equipment.
The DOD received more funding requests from some bases than others. While Fort McCoy in Wisconsin, which housed nearly the same number of immigrants, requested $145.6 million, Fort Bliss in Texas, which accommodated 11,472 migrants, only sought just over half a million dollars in maintenance costs.
The DOD inspector general also questioned whether the money was being requested simply for housing-related repairs.
In September, the U.S. experienced system shock due to the massive influx of Afghan refugees coming to the country. In collaboration with humanitarian organizations, the State Department looked to regular Americans to fill the gap. “Sponsor circles” were formed by neighbors, coworkers, religious organizations, and others to assist Afghans in integrating into their communities.
The Biden administration is getting ready to transform the trial into a private-sponsorship scheme for those who are granted refugee status in the United States.
The action was taken in response to mounting pressure on President Biden, who promised in a 2021 executive order to expand American prospects for refugee resettlement and reestablish the United States as the world’s safe haven. The refugee program, which normally entrusts nine resettlement organizations with integrating migrants into communities, was utterly destroyed by the Trump administration.