On the front page of today's New York Times, Solomon Moore's "Secret Iraqi Deal Shows Problems In Arms Order" begins. Despite lengthy space, it misses the point -- repeatedly. A bad deal was made with Serbia (for $833 million originally and then lowered to $236 million) and after you get over the amount of money being tossed around by the Iraqi 'government' (on bad deals, no less), you should grasp that no matter how many US officials justify it, the US is an occupying power and is allegedly 'training' in Iraq. The US is supposed to supervise and claiming that 'we were letting them stand on their own' is nonsense. Especially when US officials are quoted mocking the early paperwork 'specs' the Iraqis were turning in.
Many millions have disappeared out of Iraq and usually can be found in the country the Iraqi officials who fled the country relocate in. That happened despite US 'oversight' and it appears to have happened in this instance as well. The system the US had in place for bidding around the world was judged inadequate and the reason given is that there were too many delays. That excuse (true or not) is nonsense as you repeatedly learn in the article that equipment already purchsed "remains locked in Iraqi storehouses". There was no oversight and, as always when money disappears, the US officials cry, "It wasn't my responsibility."
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