Build It and They Will Come

We came across a most fascinating report from the United States Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction this week.

As reports go this is a relatively straightforward one:

This report discusses the results of SIGAR’s inspection of the Defense Logistics Agency (DLA) warehouse facility construction project at Kandahar Airfield (KAF).

The report found

that the $14.7 million warehouse facility was well built,


lengthy construction delays led to the facility never being used as intended. Had the facility been completed on schedule, DLA would have been able to use it for more than 2 years before the agency’s mission in Kandahar ended in 2014.

Yes you read correctly.

Construction delays meant that a $14.7million warehouse facility was never used as intended.

And what is one of our favourite recent stanzas recently read:

A DLA official said that the U.S. Army initiated the warehouse project and programmed the funds, but DLA could not explain why the project was not terminated or why the Army did not instruct USACE to complete the project without making further modifications that would increase the cost of the project.

A U.S. military official working with the Afghan Base Closure Commission indicated that, because the facility would not be used by DLA, it would likely be transferred to the Afghan government.

However, the U.S. official stated, and we have previously reported, that the Afghan government has not always had the funds or technical capability to operate and maintain facilities the U.S. military transfers to it.

This is a story of much more than a well built – albeit over budget and late – facility.

This is a parable of divisions not talking to each other.

When next there is a pig headiness in your organisation to get the job done – be the person to ask whether the job still needs to be done!


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