30 October 2006

Teeth and tails

It seems the Iraqi army is seriously lacking in the military "tail". The latest audit (06-032) from the Special Inspector General in Iraq, General Stuart W. Bowen to Congress reportedly finds the Iraqi army lacking in medical personnel and soldiers capable of keeping trucks on the road. These are the kind of "technical" troops that often seem to be lacking in the armies of what one used to refer to as the Third World, possibly because they can make more money in the private sector, or even emigrate. They also don't look so impressive on parade through the streets of the capital.

The mechanics, in particular, are vital to armies heavily reliant on road transport for supply. Imagine a heap of ammunition arriving at Basra. Road may be the best way to get it up country to the Sunni triangle. One can spot a tempting business opportunity for a company offering mercenary services, but how many of any imported car mechanics are going to get shot at or kidnapped by the Iraqi resistance

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