Jansing and Co | March 11, 2013
>>> we are following breaking news out of afghanistan where an apparent insider attack has killed two u.s. troops . three afghan policemen and seriously injured several others. it happened just a few hours ago in warkak province. it occurred when a single gunman opened fire during a group briefing. this deadly attack comes at a time when the u.s. military is deciding what to do with more than $36 billion worth of military equipment that needs to be either moved, scrapped or left behind by the time u.s. forces full out in december of 2014 . let's bring in msnbc military analyst, retired army colonel and medal of honor recipient jack jacobs . colonel, good morning.
>> good morning.
>> the very little i know about the military, this sounds like a logistical nightmare. 750,000 pieces of major military hardware in afghanistan . we've got armored vehicles , tanks, aircraft worth about $36 billion, and they're saying it might cost maybe $6 billion to move it. can you even sort of put in perspective how big a headache this is going to be? where do you even start?
>> it's everybody's worst nightmare. it is a nightmare. don't forget it's taken us over a decade to move all this stuff over there and we did so relatively easily. it's much more difficult, of course, to take it home, even though we've lost lots and lots of equipment. it cost a lot of money, particularly by air, and that's why we've reached an agreement with the pakistani government so that we can take a lot of this stuff over land in exchange for the payment of a significant amount of hostage money to the government of pakistan so that we can use their road network to get it out. it's even cheaper to do it by land. so lots of this stuff is moving that way, but some of the stuff we're going to have to decide what's going to stay there, what we're going to leave with the afghans, what we're going to destroy in place and not only that, of the remainder, which is a large proportion of it, when we bring it home , where is it going to go? all that stuff has to be decided well in advance. all that costs money and time too. so it really is -- it really is a logistical nightmare. they'll never get it all out, even the stuff they want to get out.
>> i'm guessing part of the decision-making has to do with where it is in the country. for example, isn't the road to the bagram air base still pretty dangerous?
>> yeah, it is. stuff is coming into bagram all the time and not exactly in a routine way which can be predicted. it's a land-locked country. it's mountainous, it's difficult to get stuff out. you can bring it in by air all you want but getting it out is much more difficult. there's a big log jam in bagram. it really is a logistical mess. no matter how many computers you can put to work using linear programs to figure out how to get this stuff out of there, a lot of this stuff is going to be left behind and there's great danger in that.
>> yeah. speaking of the danger, i mean the first thing that occurs to you is they're still fighting a war over there.
>> it's the worst possible situation, the most difficult military operation of all of them. even frontal assaults, this is worse than that, when you're trying to extract, break contact at the same time -- which is what we're trying to do, at the same time that you're still fighting. what does that do for the security and the people that are left behind ? we know from experience that the fewer and fewer americans that we're going to have on the ground means the fewer people we'll be able to use to protect the people who are remaining behind. a very, very -- not only is it a logistical nightmare but it's a very, very dangerous tactical situation. as we saw today, there are people -- americans are at risk all the time and increasingly at risk in afghanistan because of it.
>> colonel jack jacobs , it's always a pleasure to have you on the program. colonel, thanks so much for being with us.
>> my great pleasure, thanks.