Procurement: Getting What You Need, Not What You Want


September 2, 2010:  Iraq was hoping for a windfall when American troops left, believing that the U.S. would donate a lot of stuff to them, rather than ship it home. The Iraqis were somewhat disappointed. The U.S. did give them $151 million worth of weapons and equipment, plus billions of dollars worth of bases which could not be moved. The U.S. military is facing tighter budgets now, and most weapons and equipment were shipped home, to be refurbished, or simply cleaned up and put back in service. A lot of gear was shipped east, to Afghanistan. The Iraqis got whatever was not worth sending in either direction. This included equipment (like air conditioners) that were not needed in Afghanistan (where living conditions are more austere) and were not worth the cost of shipping all the way back to the United States.

The Iraqis did do very well with all the base and infrastructure construction the U.S. left behind. These will ease a housing shortage for the security forces, and provide them with first class bases. That was something the Iraqi military never had before, and it's good for morale. It's also rather corruption-proof, as it's difficult to illegally sell a base or a building.



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