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(Fox News)   U.S. military pays $5.4 million for unusable incinerators in Afghanistan. Government officials immediately praised for funding a project that only wasted $5.4 million in taxpayers' money   (foxnews.com) divider line 35
    More: Fail, incinerators, corps, Afghanistan, U.S., U.S. military, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Afghan government  
•       •       •

2928 clicks; posted to Main » on 18 Dec 2013 at 8:12 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



35 Comments   (+0 »)
   
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2013-12-18 08:16:06 AM  
Napalm, the answer is Napalm.
 
2013-12-18 08:25:59 AM  
Spent a year in that Shiat hole. 5.4 million is a fraction of the waste spent over there. I spent 35 million giving the Afghan soldiers and police the ability to surf porn. You think Iraq became a disaster after we left. Iraq is somewhat westernized. I imagine Afghanistan will be post US Iraq x 1000. Another way to say it is if Iraq is the movie "The Day After", Afghanistan will be "Threads"
 
2013-12-18 08:29:11 AM  
Fox News seems concerned about government spending on military projects.
 
2013-12-18 08:38:35 AM  
However, the obvious answer to solving our budget problems is to cut funding for food stamps.
 
2013-12-18 08:41:47 AM  
$5.4 million, or about 3 hours worth of operating expenses in that utterly pointless 10-year war.
 
2013-12-18 08:46:26 AM  
They should sell the incinerators to the Germans.

I bet they could find a use for them....
 
2013-12-18 08:48:26 AM  

SpdrJay: They should sell the incinerators to the Germans.

I bet they could find a use for them....


Too early for a Godwin!
 
2013-12-18 08:50:20 AM  
There is a fundamental problem with the bid process. It invites dubious operators without experience to bid on things outside their expertise, or for a shell company to pop up. If I were to need somewhat portable incineration I could find a few experienced suppliers and see who could deliver the best containerized product.

And you'd think the military would have a portable incineration system ready to fly in, but that's part of occupation. We aren't supposed to be an occupier (snort).
 
2013-12-18 08:54:15 AM  
When I worked for the government I was involved with a series of larger projects (6 or so at about $200-$400k a piece, pennies probably for the DoD) where I had to do the technical sign off after the install work. The issue here is partly the way the contracts (at least for us) are written. The contractor only really cares about reaching the "Substantial Completion" mile stone so that they get their 50-75% pay out. That amount more than covers the cost of the project and nets them some profit, the remainder is just a nice bonus. The result is that you have a buggy system that meets 85% of the requirements to the letter, no more, no less, and an IOU for the rest. I fought tooth and nail to prevent sign off on these projects but there was a lot of pressure to just get it done so that we can move on to the next phase of the project. Even getting support internally was difficult as they didn't want to "strain" the vendor relationships since we had several more projects pending for them to start.

As much as I enjoyed my role, I could not stand the insanity of how the government works as an institution. The constant budget fights, threats of shutdowns and being more or less having my job described as overpaid welfare the past 2-3 years finally had me looking to get back into the private sector where I managed a 15% raise.
 
2013-12-18 08:56:03 AM  
You would think the Secretary of Defense would have stepped up his game to address a few of  these issues of waste.

Well,  maybe not worth his time.   He was busy this month lecturing the Ukraine on how it should handle internal protests.
 
2013-12-18 08:57:59 AM  

clkeagle: SpdrJay: They should sell the incinerators to the Germans.

I bet they could find a use for them....

Too early for a Godwin!


You know who ELSE worried about Godwinning a thread?
 
2013-12-18 09:00:10 AM  

Loki009: When I worked for the government I was involved with a series of larger projects (6 or so at about $200-$400k a piece, pennies probably for the DoD) where I had to do the technical sign off after the install work. The issue here is partly the way the contracts (at least for us) are written. The contractor only really cares about reaching the "Substantial Completion" mile stone so that they get their 50-75% pay out. That amount more than covers the cost of the project and nets them some profit, the remainder is just a nice bonus. The result is that you have a buggy system that meets 85% of the requirements to the letter, no more, no less, and an IOU for the rest. I fought tooth and nail to prevent sign off on these projects but there was a lot of pressure to just get it done so that we can move on to the next phase of the project. Even getting support internally was difficult as they didn't want to "strain" the vendor relationships since we had several more projects pending for them to start.

As much as I enjoyed my role, I could not stand the insanity of how the government works as an institution. The constant budget fights, threats of shutdowns and being more or less having my job described as overpaid welfare the past 2-3 years finally had me looking to get back into the private sector where I managed a 15% raise.


For Republicans, this is what success looks like :/
 
2013-12-18 09:02:23 AM  
So, what you're saying is, the taxpayer footed a 5.4 million dollar boondoggle that the soldiers had fixed in the first place by digging a fire pit. I wonder what company profited that cash on shiatty equipment.

/anyone?
 
2013-12-18 09:10:17 AM  
Well it does save money in the long run, if they were working our money would be burned through faster.
 
2013-12-18 09:12:20 AM  

Heron: Loki009: When I worked for the government I was involved with a series of larger projects (6 or so at about $200-$400k a piece, pennies probably for the DoD) where I had to do the technical sign off after the install work. The issue here is partly the way the contracts (at least for us) are written. The contractor only really cares about reaching the "Substantial Completion" mile stone so that they get their 50-75% pay out. That amount more than covers the cost of the project and nets them some profit, the remainder is just a nice bonus. The result is that you have a buggy system that meets 85% of the requirements to the letter, no more, no less, and an IOU for the rest. I fought tooth and nail to prevent sign off on these projects but there was a lot of pressure to just get it done so that we can move on to the next phase of the project. Even getting support internally was difficult as they didn't want to "strain" the vendor relationships since we had several more projects pending for them to start.

As much as I enjoyed my role, I could not stand the insanity of how the government works as an institution. The constant budget fights, threats of shutdowns and being more or less having my job described as overpaid welfare the past 2-3 years finally had me looking to get back into the private sector where I managed a 15% raise.

For Republicans, this is what success looks like :/


and Democrats want this gov't to run everything :/
 
2013-12-18 09:14:36 AM  

Heron: For Republicans, this is what success looks like :/


It's very successful at transforming tax dollars into corporate profit which is the whole point of privatization after all.
 
2013-12-18 09:43:26 AM  
 
2013-12-18 09:49:23 AM  

Heron: Loki009: When I worked for the government I was involved with a series of larger projects (6 or so at about $200-$400k a piece, pennies probably for the DoD) where I had to do the technical sign off after the install work. The issue here is partly the way the contracts (at least for us) are written. The contractor only really cares about reaching the "Substantial Completion" mile stone so that they get their 50-75% pay out. That amount more than covers the cost of the project and nets them some profit, the remainder is just a nice bonus. The result is that you have a buggy system that meets 85% of the requirements to the letter, no more, no less, and an IOU for the rest. I fought tooth and nail to prevent sign off on these projects but there was a lot of pressure to just get it done so that we can move on to the next phase of the project. Even getting support internally was difficult as they didn't want to "strain" the vendor relationships since we had several more projects pending for them to start.

As much as I enjoyed my role, I could not stand the insanity of how the government works as an institution. The constant budget fights, threats of shutdowns and being more or less having my job described as overpaid welfare the past 2-3 years finally had me looking to get back into the private sector where I managed a 15% raise.

For Republicans, this is what success looks like :/


Yeah, this is strictly a Republican thing. When the Democrats are in charge, government waste just disappears.

The problem is inherent in the system and has nothing to do with political party. Yes, Republicans tend to push for more defense spending while Democrats tend to want to spend less, but the waste and inefficiency is there regardless. When we do finally manage to push through defense cuts, we don't cut useless weapons programs or make the contracting process more efficient, we lay off personnel, cut benefits and close bases. What is sad is that in our hyper-partisan world we can't actually address problems, we just smugly point our fingers at the other side, declare everything is their fault, and move on to the next outrage.
 
2013-12-18 10:02:00 AM  
I could have sold them a $1million incinerator.

i.imgur.com 
/saved them a lot of money
 
2013-12-18 10:03:44 AM  
How much will the incinerator-incinerators cost, to dispose of the failing incinerators?
 
2013-12-18 10:08:28 AM  

Bit'O'Gristle: So, what you're saying is, the taxpayer footed a 5.4 million dollar boondoggle that the soldiers had fixed in the first place by digging a fire pit. I wonder what company profited that cash on shiatty equipment.

/anyone?


The fire pits were the problem they were trying to solve.There are a lot of people coming back from over there looking at a lifetime of medical expenses from breathing the smoke from the fire pits. The problem seems to be that the USACE used some vendor that wasn't capable, probably because they lowballed the bid to get the work, quite possibly with a touch of the person writing the specs in the first place not knowing what the hell they were doing.
 
2013-12-18 10:10:07 AM  
I almost pine for the days we are no longer a super power. We have been constantly at war most of my adult life. All that wealth that could be put into infrastructure or education, science.
 
2013-12-18 10:10:40 AM  

wildcardjack: There is a fundamental problem with the bid process. It invites dubious operators without experience to bid on things outside their expertise, or for a shell company to pop up. If I were to need somewhat portable incineration I could find a few experienced suppliers and see who could deliver the best containerized product.

And you'd think the military would have a portable incineration system ready to fly in, but that's part of occupation. We aren't supposed to be an occupier (snort).


Two words : Lithium
 
2013-12-18 10:45:29 AM  
The government awards contracts in two distinct ways:

Lowest bidder
or
Your buddy's company

or some foresaken combo of both
 
2013-12-18 11:17:02 AM  
What I want to know is why they thought burning trash in pits was an acceptable solution in the first place.

If they don't have acceptable EPA approved landfills or incinerators available there, they should be shipping the waste out.  And don't even try to say it's not possible, they shipped it in.
 
2013-12-18 11:28:33 AM  
netcentric


You would think the Secretary of Defense would have stepped up his game to address a few of these issues of waste.
If you look to see who appointed the SoD, you'll see why he cares nothing about fiscal responsibility.

American Taxpayers foot 5 million dollar loss by Military .... Liberal derp commence!
American Taxpayers foot 10 Billion dollar loss by obama administration .... Liberal defense commence!
 
2013-12-18 11:46:02 AM  
$5.4M?

why, that's 5 and a half minutes worth of the DoD's total annual (public) budget!

horror.
 
2013-12-18 11:47:03 AM  
Meanwhile Harrisburg PA still owes something like $300 million on their partially failed incinerator project. Ugh.
 
2013-12-18 12:09:49 PM  
The company was immediately punished with a 15 million dollar contract.
 
2013-12-18 12:19:35 PM  

Reverend Monkeypants: The government awards contracts in two distinct ways:

Lowest bidder
or
Your buddy's company

or some foresaken combo of both


Don't forget "preferred vendor" which is basically a company that fits EO parameters such as being women or minority owned. I ran into that recently where my unit spent an extra 3k per unit (75k total) for a particular item because they were forced to go through a preferred vendor.
 
2013-12-18 12:54:14 PM  

Mr. Breeze: Reverend Monkeypants: The government awards contracts in two distinct ways:

Lowest bidder
or
Your buddy's company

or some foresaken combo of both

Don't forget "preferred vendor" which is basically a company that fits EO parameters such as being women or minority owned. I ran into that recently where my unit spent an extra 3k per unit (75k total) for a particular item because they were forced to go through a preferred vendor.


Which usually falls under category two as well.  Yay government.
 
2013-12-18 02:45:40 PM  
www.vietnamsoldier.com

Not much changed since Indochina...
 
2013-12-18 03:09:41 PM  
I could have sworn I read "only wasted $4.5 million in taxpayers' money... "

/funnier
//better headline
 
2013-12-19 05:32:37 AM  
the united states government does a great job at wasting money.
 
2013-12-19 12:54:02 PM  

mike_d85: Napalm, the answer is Napalm.


But napalm sticks to kids!
 
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