• U.S. Bombing Own Weapons in Iraq

    August 11, 2014

    Tags: , , ,
    Posted in: Iran, Iraq, Military, Syria

    So about this time you’re asking yourself “How could the situation in Iraq become any more awful and absurd?”

    Here’s how:

    It looks like some of the stuff the U.S. is now blowing up in Iraq is some of the stuff the U.S. first brought to Iraq to blow up Iraqis in 2003, then gave to the Iraqis after we were done blowing them up and left in 2011, only to see those same Iraqis abandon the gear on the battlefield last month so it could be picked up by ISIS this week, which led to the U.S. bombing it today.

    It’s Our Own Stuff

    When the Iraqi Army’s 2nd Division broke and fled ahead of the advancing columns of ISIS fighters near Mosul earlier this summer, they left behind a mountain of U.S.-supplied military equipment. Included were were hundreds of Humvees, small arms and ammunition (including 4,000 machine guns that can fire upwards of 800 rounds per minute), and as many as 52 American M-198 howitzer mobile gun systems – the same guns that two US Navy F/A-18s most likely pounded with 500 pound laser guided bombs on Friday.

    Obama gave the green light for strikes anywhere in Iraq where U.S. citizens were in danger, so CENTCOM commander Lloyd Austin gave the order to strike on Friday when it was determined that the city of Erbil was in range of the American-lost guns. All of the Americans being protected in Erbil are there because the U.S. government put them there, including U.S. Consulate staff and Special Forces. Presumably those personnel could have been moved out, thus avoiding this whole thing.

    Now the good news here is for the U.S. defense industry, which has achieved the state of karmic perfection. The weapons they once sold to the U.S. are now being destroyed by other weapons they sold to the U.S., which will need to be replenished. Why, it’s a win-win situation for nearly everybody!

    We Told You So

    The U.S. knew ISIS had control of the howitzers from at least mid-July. But it is not like any of this couldn’t have been foretold long before mid-July.

    Professor of Economics at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University Chris Coyne, in an interview with me, predicted this exact scenario much earlier this summer:

    The U.S. government provided significant amounts of military hardware to the Iraqi government with the intention that it would be used for good (national security, policing, etc.). However, during the ISIS offensive many of the Iraqis turned and ran, leaving behind the U.S.-supplied hardware. ISIS promptly picked up this equipment and are now using it as part of their broader offensive effort. This weapons windfall may further alter the dynamics in Syria.

    Now the U.S. government wants to provide more military supplies to the Iraqi government to combat ISIS. But I haven’t heard many people recognizing, let alone discussing, the potential negative unintended consequences of doing so. How do we know how the weapons and supplies will be used as desired? What if the recipients turn and run as they have recently and leave behind the weapons? What if the weapons are stolen? In sum, why should we have any confidence that supplying more military hardware into a country with a dysfunctional and ineffective government will lead to a good outcome either in Iraq or in the broader region?

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  • Recent Comments

    • teri said...


      Gosh, all these different religious sects fighting and killing each other with American armament. And to think, they all used to get along pretty well under the “brutal tyrannical dictatorships” of Ghaddafi, Hussain, and Assad. Two of them gone, and wasn’t the original plan that the precursors of ISIS, serving as our proxy, would take out Assad? Too bad they messed up some of Assad’s little air force and stole some of his munitions; at some point, we may need to re-arm the Syrians so they can help in this whole mess. Wouldn’t that be a tad ironic, even by Washington standards?

      We could really use the help of someone who knows the area very well and has quite a lot of powerful influence in the region. That would be Vladimir Putin, the sole reason ISIS is not in charge of Syria right now. Oh, wait…

      We’re busy threatening him with nuclear annihilation.

      08/11/14 12:33 PM | Comment Link

    • jo6pac said...


      U.S. Bombing Own Weapons in Iraq

      I’m sure the merchants of death are all smiles and waiting for more sales.

      08/11/14 2:03 PM | Comment Link

    • pitchfork said...


      quote”Too bad they messed up some of Assad’s little air force and stole some of his munitions; at some point, we may need to re-arm the Syrians so they can help in this whole mess.” unquote

      Now now teri, let’s not get too uppity about this. After all, we’re just the little people. We need to show some appreciation. You know, throw a few more bucks in with your April 15th donation to Murderers-R-Us. Maybe they’ll reciprocate by not kicking in your door and stomping your face in the ground.

      Meanwhile, back here on planet earth, the merchants of death are high-fiving, while clinking bottles of $1k champagne at the top of the Burj Khalifa, with visions of 4thQ profits beyond their wildest dreams.

      bartender, give me a shot of DFP and a bottle of TRE, eh? Sounds fitting…er..what’s that?

      oh, DFP? Why, that’s the new liqueur called Double Face Palm.

      TRE is a Michigan cult beer called TwoRollingEyes.

      youbetcha..set em up.

      08/11/14 7:22 PM | Comment Link

    • Kyzl Orda said...


      08/13/14 1:39 AM | Comment Link

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