August 7, 2011:
As the United States prepares to withdraw all its military forces from Iraq, the Iraqi military has been pressing for the Americans to leave behind some of their intelligence tools. These include vast databases of data on Iraqi terrorists (and their supporters), and the analysis software that makes sense out of this information, and any new stuff you might come up with. The Iraqis also lust after the special aircraft and UAVs the Americans use to collect data, as well as the cell phone eavesdropping equipment U.S. troops use to listen in on terrorist conversations.
Most of this equipment is unique, made or modified for military use. As such, the Americans are not willing to share. At least not with the Iraqis, who have an enormous corruption problem. But there’s one piece of equipment that the Americans have agreed to leave behind. That’s the cell phone eavesdropping system, which is available to governments from a number of Western and Chinese suppliers. Actually, the Americans will take their somewhat customized system home with them, but will buy the Iraqi government a commercial version, and arrange for training.