Taliban stealing US army uniforms to “gain tactical advantage on battlefield”

Saturday, November 13, 2010

WASHINGTON - Pentagon officials have warned commanders to avoid shipping uniforms through the usual U.S. supply routes in Pakistan and Afghanistan, saying that the Taliban fighters are stealing them to “gain a tactical advantage on the battlefield.”

The Pentagon has reportedly asked Army commanders that certain uniform items should be treated as “sensitive cargo” and flown into Afghanistan, not shipped over land, in order to stop any kind of interception.

Politico quoted the message as saying that: “There is evidence that the enemy is using pilfered out-garment uniform items to gain a tactical advantage on the battlefield. We must take every measure to prevent this pilferance.”

“U.S. outer-garment uniform items are considered highly pilferable items and every effort must be taken to ensure they are safeguarded while in transit,” it added.

An official with the International Security Assistance Force, the NATO command that runs military operations in Afghanistan, had confirmed on Friday that that Taliban fighters have been reported to have worn stolen U.S. military uniforms during attacks against U.S. and Afghan troops, including a failed August 28 raid on two bases in Khost province, the report said.

Items now covered by the “sensitive cargo” status reportedly include tactical vests, plate carriers, cold weather gear and fire-resistant items, and standard uniforms. (ANI)

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