Brickbat: Flying High


An inspector general's report has found the U.S. Air Force spent $549 million on Italian-made cargo planes for the Afghan government. Afghan pilots made numerous complaints about the safety of the planes, and they had frequent maintenance issues, with delays in obtaining spare parts. The planes were sold for scrap metal for $40,257 just six years after the program began. An Air Force general heavily involved in the program later retired from active duty and was hired by the company that sold the planes as its main contact with the Air Force on the program.

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  2. Waste millions of taxpayer dollars on junk planes to another country.
    Retire with a nice pension and leave the mess behind. Check
    Take a high paying job with the company who sold the junk.

    1. The real enemy of the Department of Defense is the American taxpayer. The real enemy of an individual component of the DoD, OTOH, are the other branches.

  3. Those Italian-made cargo planes might not be very safe or reliable, but they are stylish, extremely fast, and look like they’re breaking the speed limit even when parked. Sure, just getting an oil change costs as much as your mortgage, but those planes are chick magnets.

    1. Just like a Fiat.

      1. Uh, what kind of chicks like Fiats?

        1. If your chick can tell the difference between a Fiat and a Ferrari, you’re paying too much.

    2. Fix It Again Tony

    3. You think they could afford US union made cargo planes? Get real.

  4. And some people wonder why we’ve been in Afghanistan for 20 years. Do you realize how many generals we have that need lucrative contracts to fund their retirements?

  5. And no one will name the former Air Force General? C’mon, Man.

    1. Hear, hear! Any rando can accused someone of sexual touching or eye rape, and his name gets splashed all over the papers. But some dbag general wastes $549mm to secure his retirement, in presumably a documented IG investigation, and they cover for him?

      1. One of us. One of us.

  6. Why not buy American? We can make flying lemons to hand off the Afghans just as easily as the Italians.

    1. When you’re upselling the maintenance package, it doesn’t matter where the planes are made.

  7. $549 million became $40,257. “Annnnnd, it’s GONE!”

  8. A US Air Force version of this plane (C-27J Spartan) costs about $308 million to own and operate over a 25 year service life, so how come the USAF thought it could buy and operate 18 second-and third hand planes for $287 million? Let alone operate them in Afghanistan with Afghan pilots and mechanics?

    And the “service plan” the USAF could afford specified an operational readiness of 6 planes on any given day, while the mission load required at least 11-12 planes per day.

    Anyone familiar with how large organizations “work” will recognize this scenario—the upper brass makes the promises but often times fails to supply the resources needed by the grunts on the ground.

    1. Anyone familiar with how large organizations “work” will recognize this scenario—the upper brass makes the promises but often times fails to supply the resources needed by the grunts on the ground.

      I’m not familiar with organizations as large as the military, but I have bought a used car before.

      And that, IMO, is the funniest part about this. The most honorable, honest, forthright, and selfless public servants engaged in the *exact* same policies as the slimiest, most repugnant and self-serving occupation most worthy of being purged from a proper capitalist society.

      Clearly, to get rid of this corruption, the US Military needs to be more like Carvana. No need for salesmen or haggling. Just set up C-27 vending machines around the world, let people order online, and gunship just shows up at their local airstrip.

    2. “Anyone familiar with how large organizations “work” will recognize this scenario—the upper brass makes the promises but often times fails to supply the resources needed by the grunts on the ground.”

      When I was in the Navy, this was called a “leadership challenge” for the lower ranking officers. Basically it meant “I don’t want to hear about it. If I do, I’ll replace you with somebody who can or won’t bother me about it.”

  9. Steal as much as you can, gentlemen — while you can. The bones, I reckon, won’t make do for soup. Get the meat while it’s there.

    1. As we were discussing just yesterday; the whale is sinking.

  10. That’s some sweet graft and corruption right there. #46 president still keeping that shit going after decades. No wonder the military and intelligence bureaucracies fought so hard to get rid of Trump, he actually tried to call them out on this crap. Oh well now they got their puppet he’s a good doggie.

  11. Those planes are perfect for the billion-dollar “world’s largest airstrip” the Air Force built in Afghanistan, then abandoned without finishing.
    This love affair with military Generals needs to stop. They are working with the politicians.
    These “Perfumed Princes” believe that they deserve the stolen funds. Look at Jason Crow (D) Denver. He is a former military officer. He knows very well that Afghanistan is a scam. He was a Ranger, he knows that the war is lost. Why would he not want to get the troops that he fought with home? Cash. Cold hard, under the table, CASH.
    If only the American people knew.

    1. When I was younger, I used to roll my eyes when someone said “military-industrial complex,” but yes, it is a real thing and a very serious problem.

  12. Given the expected longevity of the Afghan government and Air Force (if we ever leave that country), planes that don’t really fly kinda make sense.

    1. A simple AK-47 combined with an indomitable will to prevail, driven by Islamic fanaticism and ethnocentrism, are worth more in the long term than any of our fancy (or, in this case, not so fancy) military toys. The Afghans do not need military superiority because they can always count on the incompetence and softness of Western governments to do the job for them.

      Now, if China ever invaded Afghanistan, then they’d be seriously fucked.

      1. Nobody has had the inhumanity to really win a war in millennia (possibly ever). It is impossible for any moral/ethical state to win any war long term. The Basques, the celts, welsh, native north americans, palestinians, kurds, yazidis, mongolians, yue, etc all got there asses kicked and are still creating headaches (minor or major) for the people that defeated them.

        1. You’re forgetting the sanctuaries left for the Afghans in Pakistan. That’s the reason the US was never going to win. The US was never going to kill a million, two million Pashtun. The Chinese might.

          For all of the blather I endured growing up about, “No More Vietnams,” it’s telling that these stupid fuckers managed to entangle the US into two more of them, not 30 years later.

          1. That wasn’t the reason we weren’t going to win. First of all, there is nothing to win. The Afghans aren’t worth “winning”. The head of the Northern Alliance always had a little boy with him, most of their leadership (warlords) are open, hardcore pedophiles. Would you want to help them? I have lived in 3rd world countries, Afghanistan is on another scale of ugly and depraved. It is the 5th world. It will never improve.
            The Russians saw no way forward so they were depopulating Afghanistan. Imagine that. They knew that they could never win against the Afghan militias in the mountains so they just started slaughtering villages. Once you are at that point, can you ever win? There is nothing there to win. The stupidity of it breaks armies.

            1. No, I never wanted to help the Pashtun. I wanted the United States to kill the people responsible for the 9/11 attacks, and any people who decide to harbor or support those responsible. Whatever the KP told those people they were obligated to do. And then go home.

              Accordingly, there should’ve been a minor outbreak of bloodletting in Riyadh and several of the Emirates, and the ISI headquarters in Islamabad should’ve been JDAMed until it was a lake.

              Again, and then we should have gone home. Instead, it’s been 20 years, and it could be 200 more without any difference.

              1. Oh, and as far as nothing there to win, besides the trade routes, there’s what? 1-3 trillion USD worth of rare earths and other minerals. All of those things to make electric motors, batteries, you name it. See, e.g,

      2. Would they? They prevailed against the Soviets.

  13. I like to say that all manufactured products from Europe should be designed by the Italians, engineered and manufactured by the Germans, shipped by the Dutch, financed by the British, and criticized by the French.

    1. The Brits aren’t allowed to manufacture ‘European’ goods anymore!

  14. An Air Force general heavily involved in the program later retired from active duty and was hired by the company that sold the planes as its main contact with the Air Force on the program.

    This is not a new phenomena either.

    So when anyone is tempted to look towards the US military as some sort of ‘honest, patriotic, savior of the country’, remember – its filled with people like this at the highest levels, every single officer serving today under the rank of Col went to a university steeped in Marxism and CRT.

    The military is the *M* in *MIC*.

    1. Joe couldn’t even remember the name of the useless Woke bastard that he just handed the reins to.

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