Tags: us | logistics | iraq | weapons

U.S. Stashing Weapons Across Middle East

Monday, 16 Mar 2009 02:51 PM

By Dave Eberhart

The drawdown in Iraq presents a huge logistic challenge of what to do with the thousands of tons of equipment that goes along with each brigade. A lot of that expensive gear will stay in the region to help fight future conflicts instead of coming home to the United States, according to a report in the Los Angeles Times.

Last year, the Congressional Budget Office reported that a staggering 40 percent of all Marine and Army ground equipment was in Iraq. That fact, coupled with the relentless wear and tear of warfare, made for a lack of equipment to train on back home.

The Pentagon has estimated that it needs $46.4 billion for the Army’s near future to restore its equipment levels – with an additional $10.2 billion for the Marine Corps and $20 billion for the Guard and reserve.

What’s more, there will be no “peace dividend” to lessen the fiscal pain.

As the LA Times reports, load upon load of the U.S. equipment and rolling stock will remain with the Iraqi security forces, some will be shipped to Afghanistan, and even more armor and weaponry is slated to restock U.S.-run warehouses across the Middle East – poised for possible future use.

The repositioning has not gone unnoticed.

“What nobody wants to do is see the U.S. posture for an attack on Iran,” said Anthony H. Cordesman, a scholar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “The rhetoric here is, ‘We would love for you to stay, but we don’t want to be the springboard for some sort of idiotic exercise in Iran.’”

Even friendly Kuwait, which owes its continued independence to the 1991 U.S. invasion to oust Saddam Hussein’s forces from within its borders, has dictated that the U.S. military may store only equipment that would be used for the defense of Kuwait.

According to the Times report, U.S. officials have not spelled out how much equipment would be repositioned in Kuwait or elsewhere. However, in the past, the military has stored enough equipment for a heavy brigade each in Kuwait, Qatar and South Korea and for three in Europe.

At the heart of this equipment being repositioned are heavily armored Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles and tanks.

The bulk of the gear most likely would leave the Iraq theater through Kuwait, with supplemental use of the Iraqi port of Umm al Qasr.

Retired Army Lt. Gen. William “Gus” Pagonis, who oversaw the logistics effort in the 1991 Persian Gulf War, said it would take a long time to get the equipment out.

“The bottom line is it is going to take a good 18 months to get out, but you can expedite that by dumping it all into Kuwait,” Pagonis said. “And a lot of stuff can be left for Iraqi forces.”

“You are going to have to make very hard choices about what equipment you leave behind,” Cordesman said. “The force mix you put into the gulf is not going to be the one designed to defeat the Iraqi army. But you do face a series of major challenges from Iran.”

© 2015 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Robert Gates: US Has Unrealistic Goals on ISIS, Russia

Sunday, 01 Feb 2015 12:54 PM

Though the United States and its allies have made steps to control the Islamic State (ISIS), they are not winning the ba . . .

Illegals Could Wait Until 2019 to Have Cases Resolved

Sunday, 01 Feb 2015 11:13 AM

Thousands of immigrants seeking legalization through the U.S. court system have had their hearings canceled and are bein . . .

Christie Visits U.K. While Mulling Decision Whether to Run in 2016

Sunday, 01 Feb 2015 12:44 PM

With the 2016 presidential contest looming back home, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is visiting the U.K. this week  . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved