WASHINGTON — After the United States has doled out about $24 billion during almost eight years of recruiting, training and mentoring, and furnishing weapons and equipment, "the Iraq Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Interior, and the army and police units they support do not have a supply system capable of maintaining operational readiness of the Iraq Security Forces."
That's one finding of a Defense Department inspector general's report released last week that assessed U.S. efforts to develop the logistical sustainment capability of the Iraq Security Forces.
The report says the Defense Ministry is "generally dysfunctional" when it comes to "planning, programming, budgeting and execution processes."
Although the Interior Ministry has "matured" in its budgeting processes, it "could not effectively plan and contract to procure repair parts to support the Iraqi police vehicle fleet." For example, when the Interior Ministry requested the purchase of a $200 million helicopter fleet, it did not provide for spare parts, maintenance support or required infrastructure.
With about $10 billion in military equipment on hand by end of 2011, Iraq would need about $600 million annually to maintain it, according to the defense inspector general. In 2010, however, the Iraq Defense Ministry allocated only $40 million for maintenance. Its processes for "identifying requirements, budgeting and executing contracting were broken," the report concluded.
Take the Iraqi army's system for allocating fuel to its commands.
The division commanders do not send their broken vehicles for repair, nor do they report those that are destroyed, because fuel is supplied based on the quantity and types of vehicles on their books. A local commander told the inspector general's investigators that "it was more advantageous to keep unserviceable vehicles in order to continue receiving full fuel allocations and have enough fuel to operate the rest of his fleet."
American mentors are trying to get the Defense Ministry to change the fuel allotment policy so that it's based on operational needs rather than equipment.
The U.S. military has plans to use the remaining time in Iraq to assist the Iraqi army in building "an enduring logistical sustainment capability," according to the report. About $3 billion is included in the fiscal 2010 supplemental and the fiscal 2011 budget to finance the effort.