News / Asia

In Afghanistan, A Surplus of Armored Vehicles

x
In Afghanistan, A Surplus of Armored Vehicles Ahead of NATO Pullouti
X
December 11, 2013 12:15 PM
As foreign combat troops prepare to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014, thousands of soldiers, aid workers and diplomats are shutting down local operations. In Kabul, some Afghan businesses are already feeling the pinch. Maeva Bambuck speaks with armored car dealers who say their customers are leaving town and leaving behind their expensive vehicles.
Maeva Bambuck
As foreign combat troops prepare to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014, thousands of soldiers, aid workers and diplomats are shutting down local operations. In Kabul, some Afghan businesses are already feeling the pinch. Armored car dealers say their customers are leaving town, and leaving behind their expensive vehicles.
 
Nicole Stroop is with IATS, a company in Kabul that fixes armored vehicles. Several years ago this business barely existed in Afghanistan. But the presence of thousands of troops and foreign workers has made cars that can resist land mines and gunshots a necessity.
 
"A lot of broken side windscreens, a lot of broken side windows, due to anything from bullets to rocks thrown at the vehicle," Stroop said.
 
Her clients are security contractors, diplomats and even aid groups who rushed into Afghanistan at the start of the war. But foreign forces are now leaving, along with her customers.
 
"Their contracts are simply ending,” sahe said. “So we've lost a couple of clients through that but it's just the nature of the business."
 
As foreigners leave, they are selling off their expensive vehicles, bringing prices down said auto dealer Said Bashir with the BM Group, a logistics, supplies and construction firm based in Kabul.
 
 “It used to be around $180,000 now it's around $130-$140… the new one," he said.
 
The Afghan dealer says the market is now flooded. There are few Afghans with the cash to buy armored cars, and even fewer with the right paperwork.
 
"Italians, the Italian military they used to lease it and now they are leaving, they are terminating their leases and businessmen are trying to rent it to foreigners," said Bashir.
 
Part of the problem is finding authorized customers. While these businesses once operated in a lawless land, they must now only sell to buyers with the proper paperwork. Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Siddiqi said the police have been cracking down on offenders.
 
"We found out that some people are not registering the vehicles with the government,” he said. “So that's the problem. They must pay taxes and have the proper license to use those vehicles in cities and provinces.”
 
Such regulations and uncertainty about whether foreign troops will remain in Afghanistan after 2014 create problems for many local businesses, says Chevrolet salesman Yama Yousufi.
 
“If they go from Afghanistan it will be a negative point about business in Afghanistan. Not just business but everything in Afghanistan,” he said.
 
Yousufi says customers are holding off on new purchases until they know whether President Hamid Karzai will sign the deal to allow foreign troops to operate in the country after next year.

You May Like

Beijing Warns Hong Kong Protesters, Cracks Down at Home

In suppressing protest news, China reportedly has arrested more than 20 people on the mainland who acted in support of Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters More

Competing Goals Could Frustrate Efforts to Fight Islamic State

As alliances shift and countries re-define themselves, analysts say long-standing goals of some key players in Middle East may soon compete with Western goals More

Child Sexual Exploitation to Worsen in SE Asia

Southeast Asia’s planned economic integration is a key step for boosting the region’s productivity, but carries downsides as well More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plainsi
X
October 01, 2014 10:45 AM
It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video The Legacy of Jimmy Carter: The Preacher from Plains

It is common in the United States to see tourists flock to sites associated with America's presidents. Some are privately owned and others are run by the National Park Service or the National Archives -- but most have helped draw business and people into the towns and cities where they are located. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there is one particular presidential hometown that is unique in what it has to offer those who make the trip.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Draw New Supporters on National Holiday

On the 65th anniversary of the founding of Communist China, Hong Kong protesters are hoping to stage the largest pro-democracy demonstration since the 1989 Tiananmen protests. VOA's Brian Padden visited one of the protest sites mid-day, when the atmosphere was calm and where the supporters were enthusiastic about joining what they are calling the umbrella revolution.
Video

Video India's PM Continues First US Visit

India's prime minister is on his first visit to Washington, to strengthen political and economic ties between the world's oldest and the world biggest democracies. He came to the U.S. capital from New York, the first stop on his five-day visit to the country that denied him an entry visa in the past. From Washington, Zlatica Hoke reports Modi seemed most focused on attracting foreign investment and trade to increase job opportunities for his people.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid