We’re BUYING AK-47s for Iraq???

Lots of AK-47s – U.S. buying more

Is it just me, or is this insane?

Apparently we are purchasing brand-new AK-47 assault rifles to equip the new Iraqi army. Truth be told, the AK-47 is probably a better weapon for the Iraqis than the M16 that our guys use. There are several reasons for that:

1. They are much more robust in desert conditions, especially when they aren’t maintained properly as they surely won’t be
2. They are much cheaper to buy, maintain, and supply with ammuntion
3. The training required to operate an AK-47 is much less demanding
4. Everyone in the fucking country already has a couple

I just don’t understand the reasoning behind buying new weapons when we are confiscating hundreds every single day. There have been several instances where we uncovered huge stockpiles of unused weapons. There have been reports that we are warehousing them so they can be issued to the new army. So what’s up?

A spokesman for the Coalition Joint Task Force, which commands the military occupation in Iraq, was unaware of the request for bids and questioned it.

“That’s surprising,” said Army Capt. Jeff Fitzgibbons, a task force spokesman in Baghdad. “It would seem to me odd that we’re out there looking to buy more weapons for a place where we’ve already captured and set aside so many of them. It would raise a red flag for me, that’s for sure.”

No kidding.

One of the given reasons is that the weapons confiscated in Iraq come from many different manufacturers, and that there are slight differences between them. I’ll buy that to an extent, but why not sort them out? It’s not like there’s a shortage of cheap labor in the region. The reason that the AK-47 has been in use by so many for so long is that it pretty much works all the time. I don’t recall hearing about the Viet Cong struggling to standardize model variants within their organization. I haven’t read about PLO difficulties with different suppliers.

CalPundit has some thoughts, and the comments section has more good stuff including

It’s a wonderful turn of events! We’re actually respecting Iraqi culture and recognizing that they have tradition in using AK-47s!

Too funny.

Thanks to The Command Post for referring me to Sean’s Blog. Niraj thinks this is the way to go.

And before anyone asks, nothing I’ve read anywhere indicates that Halliburton is involved. Some commenters think that Halliburton is going to charge to destroy the weapons, then turn around and sell the same weapons back. Although that may make a good joke, I’d like to see something bordering on actual evidence before anyone get up in arms. Supposedly the guns are going to be purchased from Poland, who was a supporter of the invasion, but I imagine that the money trail is a bit more twisted than that. It will be interesting to see where it leads when someone finally sniffs it out.

Update
This reminds me of Brian and his mother buying rocks for the stoning

Beard and stone seller: Stone, sir?

Mother: “No, they’ve got a lot there, lying around on the ground.”

Beard and stone seller: “Oh, not like these, sir. Look at this! Feel the quality of that, that’s craftmanship, sir.”

Mother: “Hmm…all right, we’ll have two with points and…a big flat one.”

Brian: “Could I have a flat one, mum?”

Mother: “Ssch!”

Brian: “Sorry! Dad!”

Mother: “Ehm…all right, two points, ahm…two flats and a packet of gravel.”

Beard and stone seller: “Packet of gravel. Should be a good one this afternoon.”

Why do I get the feeling that someone is running around in a fake beard buying things secretly? If life imitates Python, we’re all screwed.

Comments

  1. Woops, looks like they never got there. Where did they go??? — What did Bout Do With Weapons for Iraq? By Douglas Farah In one of the strangest twists of recent Bout-related events, a company in Bout’s business orbit was found to have flown several hundred thousand AK-47 assault rifles from Bosnia to Iraq, theoretically for use by the new, U.S.-traine Iraqi army and police. Unfortunately, there is no record of the weapons ever actually landing in Iraq, although it appears that the now-defunct air freighter, Aerocom, did make the flights. This was first reported in a new report by Amnesty International report and I have confirmed the basic outlines from other intelligence sources. Aerocom shared an address and telephone number in Moldova with Jetline, a company publicly named as a Bout company by then senior Pentagon official Paul Wolfowitz. But when the first the Aerocom flights were made (Aug. 7, 8, 21, 22, 2004) , the airline had lost its vital Air Operating Certificate, issued by Moldova. The AOC expired on Aug. 6, 2004 and has not been renewed. As the AI investigation found, there is no record of the 200,000 AK-47s flown from the U.S-military controlled Eagle Base near Tuzla, Bosnia, ever actually reached Iraq. The End User Certificate were from the U.S. Coalition Provisional Authority and the interim Iraqi administration. My full blog is here. May 16, 2006 10:50 AM http://counterterrorismblog.org/2006/05/what_did_bout_do_with_weapons.php