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Okay, Who Was Supposed To Call The Caterer?

Juan Cole says that the insurgents are Starving the Americans Out, but I would think “You have attributed conditions to villainy that simply result from stupidity.” [Robert Heinlein – Logic of Empire].

They have pulled all of these people into Baghdad without insuring that the privatized logistics system can support them.

Consider they increased the number of combat troops, and then “realized” they had to increase the number of support people. The GAO knew the extra support people were necessary, but the Pentagon claimed they weren’t. Given the way the Pentagon has nickel and dimed the troops, it not surprising that no one made sure there were increased shipments of food and materiel. [Note: “materiel” is not a misspelling, it is the term used for military “stuff,” most of which goes boom.]

As Friedrich der Groe was wont to say: “An army, like a serpent, travels on its belly.” The supply problems in Iraq are another example of the deplorable planning found in the Pentagon since 2001 and another, practical reason for pulling everyone out before they are killed or cut-off.

5 comments

1 Steve Bates { 05.24.07 at 11:10 pm }

But Frederick II was a notorious flute-player. Never trust a flutist… 🙂

The late great Molly Ivins used to say something like your Heinlein quote, to the effect that alleged conspiracies were usually more easily explained as a combination of incompetence and bad luck. For one rare time, I believe Molly was wrong: we are witnessing the playing out of conspiracy, incompetence and bad luck, all three at the same time.

As to the privatized logistics system, that has to be one of the dumbfuckingest ideas of all time. One would think that a conspiracy depending for its very existence on military power would at least have a few military experts on board to tell them that. But noooo…

2 Bryan { 05.24.07 at 11:37 pm }

Every truly successful general understood logistics and its importance on the battlefield. In an era when armies are mechanized it become even more important. Logistic problems have dogged this entire operation. What happened to Jessica Lynch’s unit is a logistics problem: the supply line wasn’t protected and was vulnerable to small unit attacks.

The uniforms in the Pentagon all know this, it’s drummed into them at staff college. It’s the suits that keep refusing to plan.

3 ellroon { 05.25.07 at 12:41 pm }

Thanks for catching this link. I was googling about but could not find it. Amazing how underreported this miilitary food thing is, isn’t it?

4 Steve Bates { 05.25.07 at 1:27 pm }

How long will it be before we read this headline, “U.S. Troops’ Rations Found to Contain Melamine / KBR Asked about China Purchases”?

5 Bryan { 05.25.07 at 1:56 pm }

Ellroon, this was the embassy complaining, the military hasn’t said a thing about it. All the food comes in the same trucks, so if the Green Zone isn’t getting supplied – there are no supplies arriving.

No one knows what is being supplied, Steve, because it is primarily “local purchase” and in the Persian Gulf, that means from everywhere because they don’t grow a lot of food in the desert, and the agricultural regions of Iraq keep getting blown up.