U.S. Military Goods For Sale In Pakistan

U.S. equipment, coveted by the Taliban, is now openly for sale in the Pakistani border town of Peshawar, as exclusive CBS News video footage shows.
CBS
U.S. equipment, coveted by the Taliban, is now openly for sale in the Pakistani border town of Peshawar, CBS News correspondent Sheila MacVicar reports. Among the goods: boots, camouflage, even high-power binoculars and sophisticated night-vision gear.

A CBS News camera took these exclusive pictures of looted U.S. military supplies.

CBS News has been told there are U.S. weapons for sale there, too, improving Taliban capabilities and posing a growing risk to U.S. and coalition forces.

"This is state-of-the-art military equipment. If you're going to fight a war these days, you're much better off fighting at night," said defense analyst Paul Beaver. "If you've got the equipment, sniper scopes and night-vision equipment, you can put the enemy off balance."

All this brand new equipment ends up there after Taliban attacks hit and loot NATO convoys.

Nearly 80 percent of everything the U.S. forces need -- weapons, fuel, food -- passes daily through one choke point: The Khyber Pass between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

This week, the Taliban blew up a bridge. There is no other. Fuel tankers belonging to American company Mondo International, working for the Department of Defense, were lined up by the side of the road.

The routes through Pakistan are now so insecure, says the company vice president, it's imperative to find a new way in.

"If you are the Taliban, you're probably contemplating the next strategic stranglehold," said Kevin Curtis of Mondo International Logistics. "So as you look on the horizon, it's unlikely that threat will go away."

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The best routes are to the north. The Russians have agreed to a new route. At the same time as they are causing problems.

In Kgyrzstan, where the United States has had an important air base, the government, under Russian pressure, says the United States has to go.

"The Russians can start to play power games with this, and this is exactly what I think we're seeing now," Beaver said.

More troops need more supplies. More supplies mean more vulnerable convoys. With the risk of more - and even better - equipment falling into the hands of the people it is meant to fight.