Don’t lose them, junk them

As Bob noted, the U. S. military lost 190,000 weapons in Iraq.  But that’s not all.  Last month, surplus F-14 parts were intercepted on their way to Malaysia, after which they would have been headed for Iran.

But don’t worry, the military has a solution to this problem of inventory control: destroy the inventory.  This includes not only sensitive inventory, like weapons and F-14 parts, but routine items as well.  My local surplus dealer advised today that the military will no longer be selling old ammo cans (excellent water-tight storage!), uniforms, or sleeping bags.  Several sources, including, confirm this: the new Pentagon policy is, if it’s not being used, destroy it.  What an interesting accounting technique!

Here’s a real irony: in the past, as its needs changed, the Pentagon often bought back items it had sold as surplus.  Now it will have to buy them all new.  What an unexpected windfall for suppliers to the military, to have the opportunity to replace (at a substantial profit) perfectly usable goods that the Pentagon destroyed rather than warehouse!  And you thought war was good for “absolutely nothing.”


  1. And you thought war was good for “absolutely nothing.”

    No, only Edwin Starr thought that.

    It does make a good song, though, even if it isn’t true.

  2. I’m partial to the Billy Bragg point of view: “War: what is it good for? It’s good for business.” Certain businesses, anyway.

  3. “there’s plenty good money to be made / by supplying the Army with the tools of the trade”

    — Country Joe

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