This calculation is being done over and over, as U.S. military officials weigh what to bring home and what to leave in the battlefield. As Afghanistan heads into elections this weekend, U.S. forces are preparing for a total, or almost total, withdrawal by the end of the year.
Ultimately, some 170 million pounds of vehicles, equipment and "white gear" -- that's all the non-military stuff that contractors have been using, like furniture, generators, chemical toilets, air conditioners, non-classified computers and more -- are being left behind. What they cannot, or will not, donate or sell to the Afghans or to allies is being destroyed so that it doesn't rot in place or fall into Taliban hands. Some reports indicate that most of the $6 billion worth of materiel will indeed be sold for scrap or thrown in the junkyard.