The age old question with the Bush Administration remains: Are these guys actually this incompetent or are they doing this shit on purpose? The weirdness seems to happen a bit more frequently with Iraq and our military but having government operations be seamless is becoming more and more of a quirk.
The Pentagon is bolstering a badly understaffed office in Baghdad to speed the flow of warfighting gear to Iraqi forces and help keep the weapons from insurgents and off the black market.
The increase in staff from six to nearly 70 includes a two-star general who arrived in Iraq two weeks ago to manage the expanding team. Army Reserve Maj. Gen. George Smith replaces a colonel, evidence of the greater clout for the office handling billions of dollars in arms sales.
The new push is intended to untie the bureaucratic knots blocking aircraft, armored vehicles, radios, and guns from getting to Iraqi police and the military units that are taking more control over the country’s security. Over the summer, Iraqi officials complained bitterly that the delays were forcing their troops to fight with inferior equipment.
Okay, so we’re only four and a half years into the occupation before someone notices that our plan to hand control of the country of Iraq over to Iraqis is being thwarted by the fact that an inadequate mechanism exists for supplying their police and military. Or, really, grossly inadequate. Having provided less than 10% of the personnel required to do the job of funneling needed military supplies and equipment to the units in the filed seems like it would have created the kind of chokepoint that might have been noticed earlier.
But was it the Iraqis who failed to notice that they didn’t have things like weapons, communication, and transportation or only our people? Because, you know, it was some time ago that I first heard that there were more Iraqis ready to be stood up than there were of U.S. military in country. Something like a total of at least 250,000 as I recall. And I remember thinking that if we were doing the job with a force strength of 130,000, adding 250,000 more bodies to the equation really should have made it possible to draw down some of our units. Instead, of course, we surged another 30,000 potential targets when, seemingly, we could have done as well by just sending their equipment over and keeping the people safe at home.
Don’t things like this reasonably raises the question of if we were ever meant to be able to do any better over there than has so far been the case? Or did it just take 41/2 years for us to finally get serious about the whole thing?