Procurement: Shortages In Iraq


March 20, 2009: A major reason for the decline of suicide and roadside bombs in Iraq over the past year has been a shortage of bomb making materials. For example, in the past month, the Iraqi army found and destroyed three tons of explosives, 600 blast caps and a large quantity of primer cord (for setting off several explosives simultaneously), 26 grenades, 25 shells of various calibers and one completed bomb. Until two years ago, U.S. forces were finding and destroying this stuff. But now Iraqi police and troops are getting most of the growing number of tips on where remaining bomb making materials are. Some of this stuff is owned by terrorist groups, but a lot of it was grabbed by Iraqis hoping to eventually sell it to someone. Some of this material has been hidden away for six years, either still waiting for a buyer, or its location lost when its owner was killed.

Since nearly all Iraqis fear the bombs (which are used by Sunni terrorists against Shia and Shia terrorists against Sunnis), they all have an incentive to tip off the cops. Thus the fear, generated by several years of indiscriminate bombing, the proliferation of cell phones, and Iraqi police and soldiers now stationed throughout the country, has made it more difficult to hang onto bomb making equipment. Detonators (blasting caps and primer cord) are a lucrative for smugglers to sneak into the country, but more and more bombs are being fabricated locally from common chemicals (including fertilizer). The locally made explosives are less powerful, and easier to find. But, in general, it's gotten harder to gather and store bomb making materials. This, in effect, has crippled the enemy supply line, in that the terrorists have much less access to the weapons they prefer to use.



Article Archive

Procurement: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close