Thursday, March 22, 2007

Your Money

Reading more Danger Room reports, I was struck by where $3 billion of our dollars are going.
Now, in the world of military and govt accounting...This money is GOING for the war... In the real world it's going to be spent HERE in the USA. Like most of the money spent on Iraq, the checks are cashed here. It should be obvious to the most casual observer, but after reading so many news reports and commentaries over the years about military waste, expenses, etc... I thought I should point out the obvious.

Iraq Buys $3B of U.S. Arms

It wasn't that long ago that American troops were scooping up Iraqi guns, like the AK-47. Now, the Iraqi government is spending three billion dollars -- presumably, three billion dollars of American money -- to buy U.S.-made weapons, like M-16 rifles and M-4 carbine.

Training Iraqis in American M-16 rifles, M-4 carbines and other weapons makes more sense if the U.S. wants to cement a long-lasting security cooperation."This is the first time they have actually started to buy our equipment in a big way," said retired Army Lt. Col. Robert Maginnis, a military analyst...

Four years after the invasion, Iraq finally has established procedures for the government to spend its oil proceeds in an orderly way, making the... sale possible.

Up until now, the Iraqis have relied mostly on arms like the AK-47, the world's most popular military weapon. "Many western military experts consider it a piece of junk... And indeed, it is a piece of junk compared to the M-16," explained Larry Kahaner, author of AK-47: The Weapon That Changed the Face of War. But, with the ability to fire up to 700 rounds per minute, "it's perfect for poorly-trained soldiers because they can 'spray and pray.'" It almost never jams. And "you can drag it through mud, leave it buried in the sand and take it out a year later, kick it with your boot, and it will fire like it was cleaned that morning."

Besides small arms, [Iraqis] will buy armored Humvee multipurpose vehicles, 5-ton trucks, ammunition, air surveillance radars and radios, [Pentagon] documents show...

Missing are any of the U.S's most sophisticated weapon systems, such as the 60-ton M1 Abrams tank or Bradley Fighting Vehicle. Iraq's defense ministry lacks the money and expertise to maintain high-tech components, so for now soldiers will rely on old Soviet-era tanks.

"The Iraqis are very good at keeping that junk going," Maginnis said.

Which makes you wonder why they need to switch to our gear, instead.

Nope. Makes me wonder where the weapons will go next. They will not get stuck buying our parts and ammo into the future. They'll dump the wweapons for the next load of Russian hardware and ammo. They want to be able to use their enemy's weapons, ammo, and parts to support their own army. Our finely crafted weapons won't do them much good when we leave. Unless we're planning on making Iraq a member of NATO? Well, they would get the mutual defense assistance and training and weapons.... The US weapons we gave the South Vietnamese have never turned up on the used market... Where did they go?

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