U.S. DOD acquisition people can't even setup a simple small cargo aircraft requirement.
One of the comments under the article states the rest of the story.
As a former pilot in this unit, I can provide FACTS:
1. This is not the newly-purchased and recently-cancelled C-27J. These aircraft are 1980-vintage, Italian surplus G.222 aircraft, very similar to the C-27As the USAF operated out of Howard AB, Panama during the 90s. They were purchased by DoD (not the Army or the USAF) with the express intent of "donating" them to the Afghan AF. For various legal reasons--and because the Afghans didn't want these unreliable, un-maintainable airplanes--they were never transferred to AAF control.
2. The performance of the G.222 is totally inadequate in high altitude, hot conditions. This makes the airplane unsuited to perform its mission a significant portion of the year in Afghanistan. DoD acquisitions folks should have known this before they inked the deal.
3. The G.222 has always required a lot of maintenance, something that the DoD acquisitions folks should have known before they inked the deal. Even fresh out of the refurbishment, they were often unable to make the flight from Italy to Afghanistan without breaking down along the way. The fleet in Kabul was plagued with fuel leaks, flap problems, landing gear problems, and several engine failures. That's why they were grounded from Dec 11 thru May 12.
3. Since the plane has been out of production for decades, most of its spare parts are no longer available. DoD acquisition folks should have known this before they inked the deal. I don't know whether Alenia misled them, or they just didn't ask the right questions. Consequently, most of the 16 planes on the ramp in Kabul were unflyable because they were cannibalized for parts to keep 4-5 airplanes flying.
Overall, the program was a fiasco, and its termination is long overdue. The USAF's inability to manage this program made us look incredibly stupid, so we lost a lot of credibility with the Afghan leadership and pilots we were trying to mentor.