(courtesy english.alarabiya.net)

We’ve heard tell that the Iraqi Army aren’t the cowards the mainstream media would have us believe. Their recent rout at the hands of ISIS forces may be more a case of non-existent logistics than a lack of nerve. Check this representative story from presstv.ir: “Ahmed Khalaf al-Dulaimi, the governor of Iraq’s Anbar province, also said that the Iraqi forces have been trapped on a road near Albu Etha in the western part of Ramadi. He further noted that the soldiers were trapped after they ran out of ammunition and food.” We’ve also noticed that nearly a dozen European countries (e.g., Germany and Hungary) have been rushing ammunition to Iraqi and Kurish forces, indicating that ISIS forces captured enormous stocks of U.S. ammo in their ongoing, nearly successful march on Baghdad. And now this . . .

The Iraqi air force mistakenly dropped food, water and arms to ISIS militants last month, a security official said on Wednesday.

“Some pilots transporting aid – arms and food – did not drop the relief to some soldiers in besieged areas especially Brigades 1 and 30,” Hakim Al-Zamili, a member of the Parliament’s security and defense committee, told Al Arabiya News.

“The pilots either do not have enough experience, intelligence or it was a technical mistake,” Ghassan Attiyah, president of the Iraqi Foundation for Development and Democracy, told Al Arabiya News.

“In order for strikes to be precise, there needs to be advanced equipment coupled with on-the-ground intelligence to help them locate [ISIS] targets,” the London-based Attiyah, who authored “The Making of Iraq: 1908-20,” said.

Attiyah said mistakes are not uncommon in wars where the frontlines are often blurry and noted the limited “coordination” between Iraq’s air forces and ground troops.

Erbil-based analyst Ali Abdulamir blamed the pilot’s “weak experience” for the incident.

“Most of these pilots were recalled after leaving their job a long time ago,” he told Al Hadath.

The convenient excuse: lousy pilots. Fog of war. Shit happens. Yes it does, but it happens more frequently when there’s insufficient command and control. In other words, the fish stinks from the head down.

Iraq’s new Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi recently sent two top generals to retirement in a bid to reform the armed forces.

Abdulamir said the government also needs to dismiss and investigate other generals deemed responsible for the army’s poor performance, especially after losing large swaths of land to ISIS militants.

“U.S. reports say that a quarter of the Iraqi forces are capable, and this is to beautify the shameful face of the so-called Iraqi army,” Abdulamir said.

“This is incorrect, there are no Iraqi forces; the Iraqi army collapsed and what we have are militias who volunteered,” he added.

Which is not to say that these forces aren’t capable. But it’s increasingly clear that the U.S.’s multi-billion dollar training program for Iraqi forces – long criticized by TTAG and others – ignored the corruption at the top. And the bottom. And the middle. Those chickens have come home to roost. And good people are being left to die on the battlefield as a result.

64 Responses to Iraqi Air Force Air Drops Food, Water and Guns to ISIS Forces

  1. It can be hard for us Westerners to understand just how endemic corruption is to some cultures. Chicago type corruption is considered normal in many countries, especially ones with Islamic insurrections in progress. See the Taliban participating in the heroin trade. Heck, I’d not be the least bit surprised if ISIS bought the darn Iraqi “government” lock stock and barrel long ago with the hope of creating a fake “war” to both purge disloyal Iraqis in combat and to sucker DC into sending more money and aid to the Iraqi Regime-which gets plowed back to ISIS.

    • I fully agree.

      People in the US simply don’t understand that corruption (especially in the form of bribes) is a way of life in many other countries.

      I have a friend who has done work in India. One day he’s on a bus in India and some guys get on the bus with masks and handguns. They’re holding up the passengers on the bus.

      The thugs get to the back of the bus after collecting everyone’s valuables, then there’s some conversation between the thugs and they start working their way forward, handing back everyone’s valuables.

      My friend, born here in the US, asks his host “WTF? Criminals who take your stuff and give it back?”

      “They paid more in a bribe than what they could get on this bus. They paid a bribe to be allowed to rob one bus today, so they’ll rob a different bus to make a profit.”

      Yes, corruption is rampant in many other countries. Further, in Islamic countries, bought-off or shifting loyalties are very common. The “allies” you had today might be bought off tomorrow, and ISIS has a LOT of money with which to buy people off right now. That’s what makes them very different than most all other groups in the middle east – the sheer resources they’ve stolen or obtained through various means. Their resources put them on a whole different level of operational capability than other terrorist/islamist groups.

      • +100. This is simply the way of life in most 3rd word nations. Regardless of religious or political affiliation. What we see as “double timing” and betrayal is simply business as usual in most countries. We have to realize that in the vast majority of the world- the concept “Might Makes Right” is the standard. All the more reason why the 2nd Amendment is incredibly important.

      • Ummmmmm the US is not far behind. When the US presidential election costs over 1 Billion you know it is corrupt to the bone.

        We may hide it better and are a more civilized nation over all but the US is corrupt from your kids elementry school board all the way to the white house. We are nation of lawyers who thrive on making money. 90% of our politicians are lawyers.

        Lawyers, Politicians and Unions run this country and they are running into the ground. Every year, at the beginning of the year in most states, hundreds of new laws are passed. Most people have no idea about the laws. Most people can’t keep up. Politicians make the laws, lawyers get paid to write them and take action on up-holding them or defending clients against them. Its like a giant circle jerk. A gravy train of corruption full of money.

        Politicians on the Left and Right differ by maybe 2% at the end of the day. On both sides their #1 through #10 concern is raising enough money for re-election.

    • This isn’t surprising at all. We’ve, yes, we, the almighty US, have dropped supplies to enemy forces in several wars since WW1. This shit happens. We did it in the Arden, we did it in Normandy, the Rhine and the Bulge. Did it in Korea, Nam, and Iraq and Afghanistan. War sucks and is confusing. What matters is what you do afterwards. Do you simply admit failure and defeat or do you remedy the situation and mitigate the enemy’s gains.

    • +1 ^ & ^^

      Don’t think these things are an accident. Give full-credit where due Our President has destabilized, or overthrown all of the secular rulers in Islamic states in most of the world he cannot have completed that many accidents in so short a time. Take a look around, this is what they were shooting for.

  2. The Administration plays down the extent to which ISIS is led by, among others, Iraqi officers and NCO’s who rebelled against the pro-Shia policies of Iraqi government, or who were fired in the mass lay-off bizarrely ordered by Jerry Bremer back in his Viceroy of Iraq days. The entry-level enlisted troops are no doubt aware that they cannot count on being resupplied if they are trapped in the west or north and northwest regions of Iraq. They know those protecting Baghdad and points east and south are unlikely to risk death for such efforts.

    It would not be improbable that a pilot called back to duty is Sunni, and has relatives in the west and north of Iraq fighting with, as part of, ISIS. That might contribute something to “technical errors” in food and ammunition drops.

  3. Obama is not at war with ISIS, We are waging war on all the non- ISIS people … Thanks ENEMY in Chief…………WAKE UP AMERICA ,…the media is sold out 100 %………….

  4. Don’t care. USSA out of Iraq! I’ll take the potential supposed ISIS threat over the actual USSA government any day!

    • USA leaving Iraq under Obama directly enabled ISIS to capture 500+M$ in hard currency and gold and a continuing income stream in many cities in Iraq that exceeds a M$ per day. ISIS will use that money to do things to the U.S. that al-queda only could dream of. In the age of dirty bombs, there is no such thing as a defensible retreat.

      • We have nukes and they don’t. Even the proudest warriors on earth surrendered after a couple of those. Sure, it might take a few more for the extremists to realize how quickly we could make their lands completely uninhabitable, but I think we can spare them.

        Go big or go home.

  5. We are no less corrupt than Iraq, we just use doublespeak. One example . . . . . . The major banks are bigger than they were before the financial collapse of 2008. We were told they’d be smaller.
    Oh well, it don’t mean nuthin’

    • Oh, is that ever true. When someone gets me started on the financial system in the US, they get to hear much more than they ever wanted.

      There’s some people on Wall Street who should never see the light of day ever again in their lives.

        • Especially as the most severe consequences you will face is having to return part of your ill-gotten gains…

          S&L Crisis of the late 70s through early 90s cost a ‘whopping’ $125B spread out over years. 900+ prosecutions.

          Meltdown of 2008. Far more players, $300B in Fannie and Freddie alone. QE1 $1.5T, QE2 $800B, QE3 infintiy version north of $1.5T, with another $40-80B every month. Less than 10 prosecutions, no top players, only sacrificial goats.

          The next meltdown generated by HFT and massively complicated instruments that have nothing to back them but other instruments with nothing to back them? It’ll make the Great Depression seem aspirational. Nobody will even get investigated.

      • A certain former governor of New Jersey comes to mind, along with a cast of thousands. Ever read Reckless Endangerment?

    • Oil, mostly. Not for the US, we have Texas, Alaska, and Frak technology. But our allies in Europe are equally dependent on oil, but the only sources open to them, especially after our “President” ignored England’s call for aid to hold the Falklands, are Russia and the Middle East. If ISIS takes over the Middle East, then all the oil will funding yet another group who hates us. This is one of those problems that has no easy answer, either we sacrifice lives now, or we watch them die later.

    • it’s not just the oil. most of the countries we have helped fund the rebels etc have also stated they wanted to leave the petro-dollar and that will crush our economy. Lybia, syria, etc have claimed they no longer want to use our currency for payment of oil. I read a good article fo when we left the gold and silver standard and converted to the petro-dollar. the former ruler of lybia that we helped fund the overthrow and assassination of their president was working with the Arab country’s to leave the dollar as a currency in oil

      • IT’s all about bank profits, war costs are funded by banks, and our tax only pays interest to the banks , plus Amerika is BROKE ,and way pass repair,,, war is big money , so give your blood and guts to the ROBBER BARONS… as FDR said if it happened …WE PLANED IT >>>…

  6. It boggles my mind that we keep throwing money at that part of the world. We will never succeed in establishing a stable republic or democracy that will remain allied to the US. All we’re doing is arming future combatants, setting ourselves up for permanent war. It’s mind numbingly stupid. We should have left it all to the British.

    • Evil, like cancer, always wants to be left alone in the dark while it’s growing. The only problem is that doing nothing doesn’t solve the problem.

  7. And for decades, people have been accusing the US of initiating aggression all for oil.

    So, when are we going to start rolling in the tankers and filling them up?

  8. I think the Kurds should be allowed to take over the rest of Iraq. They have a fully functioning state in their region and they are not afraid to fight for it. I would even turn a blind eye to the PKK involvement in the conflict as they are also willing to fight the ISIS forces. Even Turkey is allowing PKK forces to cross the border to fight ISIS. War makes strange allies.

    • Iraq probably shouldn’t be one country. Too many different ethnic groups in one country who seem to be alright killing each other, does not make for long term stability. I wouldn’t be surprised if we eventually saw the same thing happen in the US(Balkanization not mass murder). As much as I may like my cousins in DC, I have none if the same views on the world that they do.

  9. When I was a Junior in high school there was a history teacher who was a Vietnam Veteran. He was a paraplegic who later lost his lower legs to gangrene. When it came to the middle east he was fond of saying “nuke it until the glass shines.”
    He may have just been bitter.

  10. We are so screwed. That is all. On a lighter note…maybe the ISIS hoards will be afraid to cross the soon to be Ebola infected southern border 🙂

    • Don’t be too surprised if ISIS smuggles in a few hundred of their own Faithful infected with Ebola. They’ll be all too happy to spread disease and die for Allah and collect their 72 virgins.

      Flu season is soon and the symptoms of Ebola mimic the flu.

      Expect many of those who have the flu to be flooding ERs convinced they have Ebola, grid locking the medical system.

      That could get ugly.

  11. Iraqi supply chains are hot garbage. When I was there, Iraqi logistics would hoard badly needed supplies because it gave them power over other people. War is all about how much stuff you have. If you don’t have stuff, it makes fighting a much more difficult or impossible.

    Most countries either don’t get the concept of sustainment and logistics, or don’t have the money to support it. They could also be so corrupt in their logistics corps that supplies are being sold to line the pockets of the logistics personnel rather than being moved to the units that need it the most. We are one of the only countries that can project power anywhere in the world and sustain it nearly indefinitely. Sure, it costs money but even Europe has to call on U.S. air refueling platforms and airlift assets to move equipment and personnel into and out of theater. They lack the capacity to sustain themselves.

    • Every European I’ve met (most of them reasonably intelligent) utterly fails to understand the importance of logistics. They have no mental rationalization of what it takes to move stuff around the globe, nor how much of the US military is devoted to logistics by air, sea and land. They look at our DOD budgets and think “you have way too many nuclear weapons.” They’re obsessed with how many nukes we have. Then they’re obsessed with how much we spend on other weapons systems. They ignore our logistics capabilities – completely.

      They never understand that the reason why we get dragged into so many clusters around the world is that no one, literally no other nation on the planet, can respond with logistics, supplies, medical expertise, etc in 72 hours the way we can. The single biggest accomplishment of the US military is being able to move hundreds to thousands of tons of stuff anywhere around the globe within 72 hours.

      • All the while patting themselves on the back about how small a percentage of their GDP they spend on their military capability. The Euros will happily throw rocks at the US, then come running for help when they get in trouble.

        The former Eastern Bloc states like Poland and the Czech Republic have a far better understanding of this reality. Too bad most of western Europe is in denial-much like our current administration.

        • Yes, that’s why they needed us to help secure their Libyan oil supply. They didn’t have the airpower to do it themselves, even though the EU has greater GDP than the US, if I remember correctly.

    • Not to belabor the point-oh, hell, why not-there’s this nugget:

      German troops on the way home from Afghanistan were stuck there because of problems with their A310 air transport. That comes on top of other critical breakdowns of aircraft that delayed shipments of arms and advisors to the Kurds, as well as a couple of other incidents in recent weeks, including one where they borrowed a Dutch plane that also broke down. That’s on top of the report that only 42 of Germany’s 109 Eurofighters are airworthy.

      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/11132656/German-soldiers-stranded-in-Afghanistan-as-more-planes-breakdown.html

  12. This sham effort is just more staged PR to cover for The Empty Suit, anything to make it look like he is doing something. We Americans simply do not understand the Middle East, and the hoax perpetrated that we can, is part of the bigger hoax put over on us by the Progressives, who are well funded from the M.E., but simply have no clue how absolutely clueless they are, living in denial within their own political world view.

    http://www.dianawest.net/Home/tabid/36/EntryId/2916/Whitewashing-Communism-Plus-Whitewashing-Islam-Equals-Curtains-for-the-West.aspx

    • I’d be a bit more sympathetic to the Iraqi Air Force if they couldn’t go on amazon and order a $200 garmin that is light years ahead of any navigation aid available to the American airman of the Second World War.

  13. I have no disagreement with anything that’s been posted, just adding some color to it. I was a Navy aviator and did a tour in that area of the world. I also served a bit as an intel officer. Doesn’t mean I have all the answers here by any means.

    1. Doing a precision airdrop is deceptively difficult, even more so if it is near the front lines. The US military trains for it and is arguably the best in the world at it and we still get it wrong sometimes. It takes coordination, skill and ideally, specialized equipment, both on the ground and in the air. I would not have expected the Iraqis to be good at it. Their mistakes were: 1) letting their supply lines get cut off so they needed to do it. and 2) not asking the US to do the drop. Heck, we’re in there anyway.

    2. I hear people complain all the time about corruption in the mideast. It is true and I’m in no way justifying it. but there is a different mentality there we need to understand. There is an “understanding” in the mideast that most of what we call corruption is what they call “baksheesh.” That term can mean anything from charitable giving to tips to bribery. It is what makes governments run in the mideast. They cannot get enough from taxes to incentivize honest people to take government positions. If it were not for what is called a “baksheesh republic” form of government, there would be no government at all. One could say that is awful and I would not disagree. One could also say it is the same here, except we are less open about it and pretend to be “shocked” when it comes out in the open.

  14. Yes, it’s about oil, just not how everyone thinks. Keep your eye on the barrel price. When it drops below $100, we’re suddenly fighting terrorism again.

  15. We are chained to the corpse of Saddam Hussein’s Iraq and he must be laughing his ass off at us from wherever he is in Hell.
    We do not understand the people we have tried to help in the Middle East and we do not understand the people from there who have sworn mortal enmity against us.
    Sophocles himself could not have conceived a greater Tragedy about American hubris than we.ourselves have created.
    This will not end well.

  16. what a mess…we should have never been there in the first place – a colossal blunder. no good solutions now.

    • Yes, just forget that we WON, then Obuma and his demtards surrendered (see also South Vietnam). Sweep this failure under the rug with every other thing they have tried in the last hundred years, give them a hug and forget about it. Then go back to voting socialist progressive (Democrat).

  17. What’s stunning about this is that apparently TWO Iraqi regular army brigades managed to get themselves surrounded by ISIS forces. That’s upwards of 5-8 thousand men, each brigade containing its own armor and artillery component. Make no mistake: ISIS is a state that is perfectly capable of fighting sizable mobile actions on multiple fronts—in Syria, against the Kurds, and around Baghdad. When it took Mosul, it captured the largely intact equipment of 5 Iraqi divisions, including tanks, ammo, and upwards of 55 55mm divisional artillery pieces. ISIS is well-equipped, well-led, and has an abundance of veteran foot-soldiers. It has shown that it has the ability to fight well-coordinated, sustained, combined arms operations on multiple fronts. This is not a bunch of ignorant kids with rusty AK’s. This is a real military. Airstrikes ain’t gonna cut it.

  18. They should do this again, but drop something more “Interesting” this time (scorpions, anyone?)

    Or maybe kick out a couple of weighted crates and wait for them to come out, and drop a MOAB.

    • I’d like us to start thinking smart.

      If I were running the show, given that I’m a gunsmith and know a bit about how guns disassemble themselves during reloading “incidents,” I’d start a program like “Eldest Son” from the SEA conflict. Put some HE into 7.62×39 and other small arms rounds and randomly seed them into ammo all over the middle east. Re-configure RPG-7 rounds so they go off in the tube, distribute faulty fuzes for mortar rounds, etc. Spread the gifts far and wide all over the place.

      Sow enough of this around the entire middle east, then get a truckload of Orville Redenbacher’s finest product, another truckload of butter and salt, a tanker of beer, sit back and watch the results.

    • I note that you mention “this” airdrop. That there wasn’t an immediate followup in line (had there been, it surely would have been mentioned), that there weren’t in fact a stream of air-drops planned says much more about the ability of the Iraqi army to fight than does the fact that someone dropped supplies in the wrong place. There are 2 entire brigades out there which are surrounded. One C130 resupply drop isn’t a drop in the bucket compared to what they need to just hold in place, let along fight their way out (not likely, given the Iraqi army’s past performance). And this says nothing about how the hell two complete brigades managed to let themselves get surrounded in the first place.

  19. As a retired USAF person, whose son was a C-17 aircraft commander and airdrop specialist, I object to you using the stock image of a C-17 airdrop when describing the Iraqi CF. Please find a more appropriate image that doesn’t insult our professional airmen.

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