Sunday, April 13, 2008

It's Your Money

Ever wonder about those billions spent in Iraq? I suspect the Swiss banks are doing quite well lately, and the arms dealers:

The New York Times leads with word of a secret arms deal in which Iraqi officials sought to obtain $833 million worth of guns and aircraft from Serbia; officials say the deal underscores the corruption and inefficiency that have plagued the army's efforts to procure military equipment.


U.S. officials say the Iraqi army has still got a lot to learn about how to spend its money wisely. Back in 2005, the army squandered $1.3 billion on shoddy military equipment, much of which was never delivered; now officials have inked a secret deal with Serbia that appears designed to sidestep anti-corruption measures. "You can only explain it in two ways," said one Western official. "A desire to avoid oversight, and a desire to offer opportunities for graft and corruption." Officials said the deal raised questions about the Iraqi military's readiness to stand alone; it also came as a snub to the Pentagon's military sales program, which has struggled to deliver equipment fast enough to meet demand.
I guess I should be more charitable. Afterall there is this:
BAGHDAD - The Iraqi government has dismissed about 1,300 soldiers and policemen who deserted or refused to fight during last month's offensive against Shiite militias and criminal gangs in Basra, officials said Sunday.

Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf said 921 police and soldiers were fired in Basra. They included 37 senior police officers ranging in rank from lieutenant colonel to brigadier general.


Since then, government officials have revealed that about 1,000 members of the security forces — including an entire infantry battalion — had mutinied, on some cases handing over vehicles and weapons to the militias.
When you have all those weapons defecting to the countryside, you just have to replenish. Don't you?

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