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Friday May 28, 2010 15:31:15 EDT

Afghanistan’s defense ministry is refusing to destroy more than 6,300 metric tons of old ammunition that is taking up valuable, climate-controlled bunker space needed for new U.S.-funded Afghan security force ordnance, Army Col. Ronald Green said Friday.

Green, the U.S. officer who has worked on the destruction effort over the past 12 months, said he also worries that the Afghan-guarded ammunition — as well as a stockpile of 1.3 million pounds of degraded commercial-grade ammonite in Herat — could be used to fashion roadside bombs if it fell into the wrong hands. And the old ordnance also poses a threat simply resting in place, he said.

“Once propellant becomes old and unstable, it can just cook off by itself,” said Green, who is completing a 12-month tour as director of logistics for Combined Security Transition Command-Afghanistan.

The continued storage of the ammo places Afghan military and civilians as well as coalition forces at risk, Green told reporters during a conference call from Camp Eggers in Kabul.

The Afghan defense ministry also remains out of compliance with a 2006 compact signed in London in which Afghanistan agreed to destroy “all unsafe, unserviceable and surplus” ammunition by the end of 2010 — a task that Green said is physically impossible given the time remaining in the year.

Green said the Afghans simply want to hold onto the ammo, much of it old Soviet stock that includes 35-year-old rocket-propelled grenades and ordnance for obsolete weapons such as the World War II-era T-34 tank.

This is despite repeated entreaties — 75 engagements over the past three years — by senior U.S. military and civilian officials to their Afghan counterparts, including Abdul Rahim Wardak, who heads the defense ministry, and members of the Afghan parliament.

“I just cannot get my head wrapped around this cultural affinity for hoarding,” Green said. “The [defense ministry] believes that this ammunition is good — if it looks good, it is good.

“This is a national treasure in their eyes.”

In an effort to influence the legislators, Green said several members of parliament were recently taken to bunkers in two locations, where they were shown stacks of both old and new ammunition.

During an inventory, the old ordnance had been stacked up “very nicely,” Green said. “The parliamentarians said, ‘This looks very nice.’ ”

http://www.armytimes.com/news/2010/05/military_afghanistan_oldammo_052810w/
 

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I attended a lecture on Thursday night,from a EOD person not long returned from Afghanistan (Bamiyan),there is so much ordnance just lying around over there (in parts of the country anyway) there is no way a time-frame could be imposed for collecting up/disposing of the stuff.It would take years to get to that point,from what we were told anyway.The Afghans get a 'bounty' for handing in or pointing the way to unexploded ordnance,it seemed to be mainly artillery shells but also quite a bit of DSHK ammo etc smaller stuff like that.Apparently the afghans like to use the propellant for starting fires......on one lot they handed in for money they had pulled the projectiles first and replaced the powder with sand.......
 

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Surplus the small arms ammunition and send it to the US....American shooters would be happy to pay for it.
I don't know. I could see the smiling ammo merchants shipping me a case of 50 year old Ammo that was stored in Assghanistan and then losing my nose and three fingers to it.

I'm a lot more particular about surplus ammo than I was 20 years ago. A (very) bad lot of IMI 5.56 changed my mind. I made the mistake of thinking you could trust the Israeli ammo 100%. Now I don't trust any surplus ammo until the guinea pigs...I mean fellow Gunboarders.....try it first.
 

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I'm a lot more particular about surplus ammo than I was 20 years ago. A (very) bad lot of IMI 5.56 changed my mind. I made the mistake of thinking you could trust the Israeli ammo 100%. Now I don't trust any surplus ammo until the guinea pigs...I mean fellow Gunboarders.....try it first.
Some years ago I had some problems with 8mm from the middle east. That has made me leary of any ammo from places that are hot.
 

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I had problems with a bad lot of 45 ACP when I was in the National Guard in the 1970s-a lot of jams, failures to eject, etc. I'd be more concerned that perhaps this is old Soviet stuff and they had pulled the same trick we pulled in Vietnam-dumping the powder and replacing it with plastic explosive and leaving it for the other side to use.
 

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If we pay them for it they will destroy it.
Now we are getting to the meat of the matter! ;) That said, the Afghans are terrific hoarders of anything remotely military. Look at the old rifles they still carry despite having had access to countless Soviet weapons captured during the Soviet occupation. As for ammo, if it is not corroded on the outside it must be good. That right, Hadji? :burp
 

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When I was there I inherited 2000 rounds of 7,62x39 from my predecessor, the crate was wet to the ground and the ammo badly corroded. Since we have no weapons in ths calibre and no stock # to put it into our inventory I planned a training shooting for the local Afghan National Police on our shooting range. Well, their Kalashnikovs performed exellent and with spray and pray tactics I got rid of this stuff very fast.
Wolf
 

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2000 rounds? 100 20-round magaines, fewer than 70 30-rounders. No, I don't imagine it did take long to burn through that.
 
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