Why Iraq Won’t Accept Thousands of MRAPs
“The Iraqi government has accepted only a fraction of fighting vehicles the U.S. has offered to provide it, indicating leaders in Baghdad desperately holding their country together amid the Islamic State group onslaught may be trying to appease multiple masters,” writes Paul Shinkman .
“Amid the rise of the Islamic State group late last year, U.S. News reported the U.S. military was hoarding more than 3,000 fighting vehicles in nearby Kuwait, mostly the mine-resistant, ambush-protected combat trucks known as MRAPs that played a key role in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan… More than six months later, only 300 MRAPs have actually gone to the Iraqi government, U.S. News has subsequently learned, defying logic among observers who question why the besieged nation would not accept a deal that bolsters its defenses and improves greatly on its outdated fleet of vehicles.”
“Yet adding a new kind of vehicle to military inventories requires familiarizing soldiers with the equipment itself, training mechanics or hiring contractors to maintain them, and paying for spare parts to keep the vehicles operational. This reality means a government may be better off focusing on the equipment it already has and knows how to use instead of embracing newer – and in this case, better – technology.”