In Kabul's 'Obama Market,' US military rations on sale

MREs

Want to buy US military wares in Afghanistan? Go to Kabul's "Obama Market".

Afghanistan vendors here sell MREs, military cots, and goggles like those used by the American military.

Most of these supplies are bought or stolen from the vast US military bases.

"It is Obama Market now," the 'Christian Science Monitor' quotes Haji Tor, a rotund shopkeeper who acts as kind of an unofficial chamber of commerce president for the market in the Afghan capital, as saying.

"Bush is finished," he adds.

This small market, tucked behind a commercial building in the northwest side of the city, is a US taxpayer's nightmare.

All around are stalls offering cases of MREs (meals-ready-to-eat), new-in-the-box military cots and goods usually sold on base stores, such as American-made shampoo, military ID holders and the huge plastic jars of the food supplements used by bodybuilders.

One shop offered an expensive military-issue sleeping bag, tactical goggles like those used by US troops and a stack of plastic footlockers, including one stencilled "Campbell G Co.

Another had a sophisticated "red-dot" optical rifle sight of a kind often used by soldiers and contractors.

Some of the items for sale were knock-offs of military boots and packs, and some of the food is past its expiration date.

Many of the goods, though, are supplies that were intended for American troops it's hard to deny the origins of MREs, for example and in good condition.

Most apparently originate at the giant Bagram air base north of Kabul, where there's a similar market just outside the base. The precise route the stuff takes to market, though, isn't clear, at least if you ask the shopkeepers.

NATO officials know about the market, and an ISAF spokesman, Capt. Mike Andrews, said that if any sensitive equipment turned up for sale, security forces would take action.

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