Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Oh, the incompetence:
The American military has not properly tracked hundreds of thousands of weapons intended for Iraqi security forces and has failed to provide spare parts, maintenance personnel or even repair manuals for most of the weapons given to the Iraqis, a federal report released Sunday has concluded....The American military did not even take the elementary step of recording the serial numbers of nearly half a million weapons provided to Iraqis, the inspector general found, making it impossible to track or identify any that might be in the wrong hands. Exactly where untracked weapons could end up — and whether some have been used against American soldiers — were not examined in the report, although black-market arms dealers thrive on the streets of Baghdad.
Just incredible.

Meanwhile, we're not likely to "stand down" anytime soon (!):
On Sept. 20, Iraqi and U.S. officials held a ceremony in the main square here to mark the transfer of authority from American troops to U.S.-trained and -equipped Iraqi police....Fifteen days later, on Oct. 5, U.S. troops had to return to Saba al-Bor to restore order. Most of the town's police had fled, Sunni and Shiite residents were at war with each other, and sectarian death squads roamed the town. The progress built over months had evaporated.
“We simply overestimated the capacity of the Iraqi people to defend their democracy,” Thompson said [Loren Thompson is a military analyst at the Lexington Institute, a think tank based in Arlington, Va.]. “If Iraqi security forces can't be counted on, we have no strategy for winning.” Miscalculations have been costly. The 7th Squadron lost eight soldiers in two days this month as Saba al-Bor lapsed into chaos.

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