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Total Incompetence
Posted by: McQ on Monday, October 30, 2006

For the life of me I don't understand this:
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.

[...]

Mr. Warner sent his request in May to a federal oversight agency, the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction. He also asked the inspector general to examine whether Iraqi security forces were developing a logistics operation capable of sustaining the hundreds of thousands of troops and police officers the American military says it has trained.

The answers came Sunday from the inspector general’s office, which found major discrepancies in American military records on where thousands of 9-millimeter pistols and hundreds of assault rifles and other weapons have ended up. 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.
For once the New York Times is exactly right. Taking serial numbers is indeed an 'elementary step" in record keeping. And I can think of absolutely no reason why that elementary step wouldn't be required of any transfer of weapons, for heaven sake. And the military's response?
In a written response to the inspector general’s findings, the American military largely conceded the shortcomings. The military said it would assist the Iraqis in determining the spare parts and maintenance requirements for the weapons. The military also said it has now instituted a “process to accurately issue weapons by quantity and serial number listing.”
Remember, this was the year of the logistics piece ... the number one priority, where spare parts, maintenance and logistics were the key priority for standing up the ISF.

Give the fact that the military authorities couldn't even be bothered to record serial numbers of the weaponry they were handing over and have no idea where they are, why in the world would you believe them to be capable of doing the more serious work? Well you can't:
Mr. Bowen found that the American military was not able to say how many Iraqi logistics personnel it had trained — in this case because, the military told the inspector general, a computer network crash erased records. Those problems have occurred even though the United States has spent $133 million on the weapons program and $666 million on Iraqi logistics capabilities.
The dog ate my homework?

This is just unacceptable and, frankly, inexcusable. What is going on?
 
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A computer network crash erased the records?
BWAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH. Yeah, that’s right, blame the network.
No daily/weekly/monthly backups I guess? Single copy, single site.
This is better than Sandy Berger stuffing documents into his shorts.

What, did they contract this system out to NOKO Komputers INC?

What army is this again? The forces of the Republic of Moronica?




 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Apparently incompetence is contagious.

Seriously though, the lack of accountability and oversight (as discussed in previous blog entreis) in our government makes these types of occurances likely.

All I hear from this government is, it’s not my fault, I didn’t know, we used the best information we had at the time, it was Clinton’s fault.

 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
Now Cap, we haven’t gotten to how it’s Clinton’s fault yet. I’m sure there was a contract signed by the previous administration, or a procedure put in place to hand out weapons at random, that stems from his stay in office, but it’s going to take a while to produce that information (because the um, network crashed, and it all had to be, um, re-constructed).

I can’t tell ya how good it makes me feel to think our government is tracking handguns for civilians, or thinking of creating a national ID card, or a voter registration system. Knowing that there’s a really good chance a network collapse could vanish all the evidence at any time.

Ya know, I’d consider changing sides of the aisle here (last straw thing), but I’m fairly confident it’s not a political leaning thing. What will be political is watching the Donald assure us blame and responsibility falls somewhere down the line from him. For, Donald will have an answer for this colossal CF, and we should all just, you know, back off on it until he um, tells us all to back off.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Did anyone ever hear of the sign the democrat Harry Truman had on his desk? It said ... "The buck stops here"

The only buck that you guys think should stop with Bush are those raised by his "rangers". Why don’t you hold these guys accountable?
 
Written By: cindyb
URL: http://
if at this point you honestly don’t understand, then further explanations are probably useless.

but here goes:

Due to a lack of commitment at the highest levels of government to an effective reconstruction process, the process has been utterly corrupted by people who are venal, incompetent or both.

[I could go on and point out all the evidence which demonstrates that the Iraq reconstruction was a product of wishful thinking from the beginning, but you’ve heard it before.]
 
Written By: Francis
URL: http://
A few questions:

I am assuming all weapons have serial numbers. If we provided weapons bought in the USA (the 9mm pistols) wouldn’t the manufacturer easily be able to provide the data, and probably does that with the orders anyways?

If we are transferring AK-47s captured from ex-Iraqi army bases or what not, I could see being lazy about not making a database if you were pressed for time during a major conventional war or something, but when dealing with an insurgency I’d think it would be VITAL to identify where any captured weapons came from.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
There’s no excuse for this Francis, but it doesn’t run all the way up to the Oval office. Get a life. Bush doesn’t control EVERYTHING any more than Clinton did.

No, there’s a collection of nincom-poops somewhere down the line from Rummy in that big pentagonal shaped building across the Potomac.
They’d probably be there regardless of who was or is currently in the Oval office.
Someone should have their a** kicked, and hard. If THAT came down from the President maybe it would get the message across. I’ll bet it doesn’t happen that way though.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Not to worry. In the next few days someone will hold a press conference and say "I accept full responsibility for this" and the problem will be solved. Business as usual.

Seriously, though, McQ, I am a bit surprised at your surprise. Even my limited military experience has inured me to such stupidity, filed under "Lessons Learned". Your cynicism level is way to low.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Seriously, though, McQ, I am a bit surprised at your surprise. Even my limited military experience has inured me to such stupidity, filed under "Lessons Learned". Your cynicism level is way to low.
I guess it is my military experience which says this just shouldn’t have happened, even at the basest level. I have never, ever, not once, handled a responsibility for weapons in the military which didn’t involved serial numbers and recording them.

Not once. I cannot even imagine how this process proceeded without such a basic and common procedure, of which even the most green private would expect and understand.

Amazing.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
We probably have Rumsfeld to thank for this one. His "streamlining" the supply chain generally meant scrapping any accountability or detailed book keeping to boost speed. So maybe something got screwed up, or maybe not. Truth be told we don’t have the data to know.
 
Written By: Jeff the Baptist
URL: http://jeffthebaptist.blogspot.com
SHUT UP, you talk like sissy democrat. if you are a real Patriot, shut up and just trust the Government and the Army. Believe in President, he is led by Our Lord and will lead the America to the Light. Stop counting and doubting, just have a faith and follow the President on his path to our bright American future. Why people like you can not be SOLID on all the issues?!!! If you call yourself Republican, stay with the Party and do not doubt its course! Forget all this democratic whinning, just believe in Him! Americans need a strong hand, someone to lead them, without any doubt or hesitation. George Bush was sent to America by God and should stay the president for as long as we need him. And Army is doing great job. Little mistakes do not count, they simply do not matter. America is rich and we must be willing to free the world from the Beast at any cost. Lord will be with us!
 
Written By: rr
URL: http://
"Amazing."

Amen. That’s one of the great things about life, always something amazing. Vat a country! as Jakov(?) Smirnov would say. Of course he would say that is the way things were always done in the old country.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
We probably have Rumsfeld to thank for this one. His "streamlining" the supply chain generally meant scrapping any accountability or detailed book keeping to boost speed. So maybe something got screwed up, or maybe not. Truth be told we don’t have the data to know.
Oh b*llsh*t.

People get sloppy and they combat-loss the stuff. It’s not unique to this conflict.

For that matter, once weapons are assigned to the Iraqi Army, keeping track of them is an Iraqi responsibility.
 
Written By: Mark A. Flacy
URL: http://

 
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