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Pictures | Thu May 3, 2012 | 8:00am EDT

Army procurement switch puts boot into Afghan dream

Farhad Saffi, the owner of Milli Boot Factory, stands in his factory in Kabul April 14, 2012. Gazing glumly over millions of dollars worth of machinery which used to churn out thousands of police and army boots each day but now sits wreathed in plastic sheeting, Saffi fears he is seeing the death of an Afghan dream. Picture taken April 14, 2012. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

Farhad Saffi, the owner of Milli Boot Factory, stands in his factory in Kabul April 14, 2012. Gazing glumly over millions of dollars worth of machinery which used to churn out thousands of police and army boots each day but now sits wreathed in...more

Farhad Saffi, the owner of Milli Boot Factory, stands in his factory in Kabul April 14, 2012. Gazing glumly over millions of dollars worth of machinery which used to churn out thousands of police and army boots each day but now sits wreathed in plastic sheeting, Saffi fears he is seeing the death of an Afghan dream. Picture taken April 14, 2012. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani
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An Afghan employee works at the Milli Boot Factory in Kabul April 14, 2012. Milli Boot Factory, in Kabul's sprawling industrial hinterland, was a model for Afghanistan, showcasing local manufacturing while giving jobs to hundreds of people who may have otherwise have picked up insurgent guns. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

An Afghan employee works at the Milli Boot Factory in Kabul April 14, 2012. Milli Boot Factory, in Kabul's sprawling industrial hinterland, was a model for Afghanistan, showcasing local manufacturing while giving jobs to hundreds of people who may...more

An Afghan employee works at the Milli Boot Factory in Kabul April 14, 2012. Milli Boot Factory, in Kabul's sprawling industrial hinterland, was a model for Afghanistan, showcasing local manufacturing while giving jobs to hundreds of people who may have otherwise have picked up insurgent guns. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani
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An Afghan employee arranges boots at the Milli Boot Factory in Kabul April 14, 2012. Milli Boot Factory, in Kabul's sprawling industrial hinterland, was a model for Afghanistan, showcasing local manufacturing while giving jobs to hundreds of people who may have otherwise have picked up insurgent guns. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

An Afghan employee arranges boots at the Milli Boot Factory in Kabul April 14, 2012. Milli Boot Factory, in Kabul's sprawling industrial hinterland, was a model for Afghanistan, showcasing local manufacturing while giving jobs to hundreds of people...more

An Afghan employee arranges boots at the Milli Boot Factory in Kabul April 14, 2012. Milli Boot Factory, in Kabul's sprawling industrial hinterland, was a model for Afghanistan, showcasing local manufacturing while giving jobs to hundreds of people who may have otherwise have picked up insurgent guns. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani
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Afghan soldiers' boots with holes are left by a wall as the soldiers take a shower in Kabul, August 17, 2009. Afghanistan's presidential election will be held on August 20. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Afghan soldiers' boots with holes are left by a wall as the soldiers take a shower in Kabul, August 17, 2009. Afghanistan's presidential election will be held on August 20. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Afghan soldiers' boots with holes are left by a wall as the soldiers take a shower in Kabul, August 17, 2009. Afghanistan's presidential election will be held on August 20. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
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An Afghan employee works at the Milli Boot Factory in Kabul April 14, 2012. Milli Boot Factory, in Kabul's sprawling industrial hinterland, was a model for Afghanistan, showcasing local manufacturing while giving jobs to hundreds of people who may have otherwise have picked up insurgent guns. But a U.S. decision to hand procurement to the Afghan government has left Milli's owner Farhad Saffi with something of a developed world problem - local officials opted for cheaper boots made in China and Pakistan, killing off Milli's contracts after a year. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

An Afghan employee works at the Milli Boot Factory in Kabul April 14, 2012. Milli Boot Factory, in Kabul's sprawling industrial hinterland, was a model for Afghanistan, showcasing local manufacturing while giving jobs to hundreds of people who may...more

An Afghan employee works at the Milli Boot Factory in Kabul April 14, 2012. Milli Boot Factory, in Kabul's sprawling industrial hinterland, was a model for Afghanistan, showcasing local manufacturing while giving jobs to hundreds of people who may have otherwise have picked up insurgent guns. But a U.S. decision to hand procurement to the Afghan government has left Milli's owner Farhad Saffi with something of a developed world problem - local officials opted for cheaper boots made in China and Pakistan, killing off Milli's contracts after a year. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani
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An Afghan employee arranges boots at the Milli Boot Factory in Kabul April 14, 2012. Milli Boot Factory, in Kabul's sprawling industrial hinterland, was a model for Afghanistan, showcasing local manufacturing while giving jobs to hundreds of people who may have otherwise have picked up insurgent guns. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

An Afghan employee arranges boots at the Milli Boot Factory in Kabul April 14, 2012. Milli Boot Factory, in Kabul's sprawling industrial hinterland, was a model for Afghanistan, showcasing local manufacturing while giving jobs to hundreds of people...more

An Afghan employee arranges boots at the Milli Boot Factory in Kabul April 14, 2012. Milli Boot Factory, in Kabul's sprawling industrial hinterland, was a model for Afghanistan, showcasing local manufacturing while giving jobs to hundreds of people who may have otherwise have picked up insurgent guns. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani
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An Afghan employee works at the Milli Boot Factory in Kabul April 14, 2012. Milli Boot Factory, in Kabul's sprawling industrial hinterland, was a model for Afghanistan, showcasing local manufacturing while giving jobs to hundreds of people who may have otherwise have picked up insurgent guns. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani

An Afghan employee works at the Milli Boot Factory in Kabul April 14, 2012. Milli Boot Factory, in Kabul's sprawling industrial hinterland, was a model for Afghanistan, showcasing local manufacturing while giving jobs to hundreds of people who may...more

An Afghan employee works at the Milli Boot Factory in Kabul April 14, 2012. Milli Boot Factory, in Kabul's sprawling industrial hinterland, was a model for Afghanistan, showcasing local manufacturing while giving jobs to hundreds of people who may have otherwise have picked up insurgent guns. REUTERS/Omar Sobhani
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