Posted on January 18, 2023

Afghan Refugees Cost U.S. Military Bases Over $535 Million

Bethany Blankley, The Center Square, January 13, 2023

Afghan nationals housed at U.S. bases overseas and in six states cost military branches more than $535 million in damages and consumables according to findings released by the Department of Defense inspector general. A Texas congressman is now demanding answers.

Those housed at eight military bases in the six states cost the bases $362.63 million in depleted resources and damages to facilities. This included $257.48 million in damages to base facilities, making some buildings and infrastructure unusable for U.S. troops, and over $105 million in equipment and replaceable consumable items used, and weakening military readiness.

Afghan-related damages totaled more than $150 million at U.S. bases in Germany, more than $3 million in bases in Spain and Germany and over $20 million at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia.

The inspector general findings reveal the U.S. Army reported the greatest domestic base losses of $188.81 million, followed by the Air Force’s $150.14 million.


Afghans were housed in U.S. military bases through February 2022; as their visas were processed they were released into the U.S.


But at least 44,000 weren’t housed in military bases whose whereabouts were unknown within months of entering the U.S., prompting U.S. senators to demand answers from Department of Homeland Security.

According to the report, damages caused by “guests” were described by Air Force officials as “unrepairable.”

“Air Force officials described tables, chairs, and cots broken by guests and tents and cots ruined by spray paint, human biological matter, and holes,” the report states; materials were “completely depleted, such that no materials remain available for other real-world missions.”


Only $259.5 million in restoration and repair funding requests for the eight bases resulting from OAW was approved, due to technicalities. The report notes that the Deputy Secretary of Defense authorized funds to be limited to specific repairs and restoration activities three months after assessment of damages was presented.

Due to several factors, the DOD was holding bases responsible to pay at least $103.1 million worth of damages from their own budgets. {snip}