Left Behind

Yuri Kozyrev / NOOR for TIME

An aerial view of Kabul. The threat of a serious economic reversal is becoming a daily concern

There is something ineffably odd about seeing 400,000 pairs of new boots that may never be worn. In a shuttered wing of the Milli Factory in Kabul, a vast stockpile of tan military footwear sits mothballed in dusty plastic bags, waiting to be shipped off to the soldiers for whom it was made. But after a change in a contract with the U.S. government to provide boots to Afghan security forces, that day may never come. Fawad Saffi, whose father started this factory in 1979, surveys a hulking piece of machinery the family imported from Germany in 2011. "They...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!