50K Afghans Cost Taxpayers $189M in Damages to U.S. Military Bases

The nearly 50,000 Afghans whom President Joe Biden’s administration housed on five United States military bases for months through 2021 and early 2022 cost taxpayers almost $189 million in damages to the facilities, a federal report reveals.

Following the U.S. Armed Forces’ withdrawal from Afghanistan in August 2021, Biden opened a refugee pipeline that has resettled more than 86,000 Afghans in American communities — many without having been screened or interviewed in person beforehand.

Tens of thousands of those Afghans were housed initially at eight U.S. military bases, including 50,000 who were specifically placed at Fort Bliss in Texas, Fort Lee in Virginia, Fort McCoy in Wisconsin, Fort Pickett in Virginia, and Camp Atterbury in Indiana.

Officials at those five U.S. bases, according to a Department of Defense Inspector General (DOD IG) report, noted nearly $189 million in damages which taxpayers will have to foot the bill to repair.

Chart via Department of Defense Inspector General

As Wisconsin Right Now first reported, Fort McCoy saw the heftiest price tag in terms of damages associated with housing the over 12,700 Afghans who stayed at the facility.

In total, Afghans caused more than $145 million in damages at the base including issues with walls, ceilings, floors, doors, bathrooms, plumbing, electrical systems, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, exterior siding, and most of the facility’s barracks.

Chart via Department of Defense Inspector General

At Fort Bliss, Afghans housed at the base caused $575,000 in damages to mattresses and beds while at Fort Lee, there were $632,000 in damages to floors, ceiling tiles, and electrical systems.

Meanwhile, at Fort Pickett, Afghans caused more than $26 million in damages to walls, doors, plumbing, HVAC systems, fire alarms, and other things. Damages at Camp Atterbury totaled $16 million to replace mattresses and furniture as well as repairing floors, doors, windows, plumbing, fire alarms, and landscaping to the grounds.

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