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Writing for, the estimable C.J. Chivers has a look at U.S. small arms shipments to Afghan and Iraqi “security forces” during the last 14 years. Despite President Obama’s pledge to make his administration the most transparent in history, the Pentagon wasn’t exactly forthcoming on providing this data. Independent researcher Iain Overton whipped out an envelope and put some conservatively calculated numbers on the back. As follows . . .

In all, Overton found, the Pentagon provided more than 1.45 million firearms to various security forces in Afghanistan and Iraq, including more than 978,000 assault rifles, 266,000 pistols and almost 112,000 machine guns.

These transfers formed a collage of firearms of mixed vintage and type: Kalashnikov assault rifles left over from the Cold War; recently manufactured NATO-standard M16s and M4s from American factories; machine guns of Russian and Western lineage; and sniper rifles, shotguns and pistols of varied provenance and caliber, including a large order of Glock semiautomatic pistols, a type of weapon also regularly offered for sale online in Iraq.

GLOCKs on sale online without a background check! (On Facebook no less.) Close the Iraqi internet loophole! As if. Anyway, the next question is simple enough: how many “assault weapons” and full-on machine guns — part of a “minimally supervised flow of arms” — somehow “seeped” from our allies’ arsenals into the presumed hands of ne’er-do-wells?

One point is inarguable: Many of these weapons did not remain long in government possession after arriving in their respective countries. In one of many examples, a 2007 Government Accountability Office report found that 110,000 Kalashnikov assault rifles and 80,000 pistols bought by the United States for Iraq’s security forces could not be accounted for — more than one firearm for every member of the entire American military force in Iraq at any time during the war.

Those documented lapses of accountability were before entire Iraqi divisions simply vanished from the battlefield, as four of them did after the Islamic State seized Mosul and Tikrit in 2014, according to a 2015 Army budget request to buy more firearms for the Iraqi forces to replace what was lost.

These spectacular losses were on top of the more gradual drain that many veterans of the wars watched firsthand — including such scams as Afghan National Army recruits showing up for training and disappearing after rifles were issued. They were leaving, soldiers suspected, to sell their weapons.

On the outposts where American troops and Afghan and Iraqi units worked together, the local units were often a fraction of their reported strength and dwindled as ever more national police officers or soldiers disappeared or deserted, vanishing with their firearms.

The American arming of Syrian rebels, by both the Central Intelligence Agency and the Defense Department, has also been troubled by questions of accountability and outright theft in a war where the battlefield is thick with jihadists aligned with Al Qaeda or fighting under the banner of the Islamic State.

I have nothing against flooding a couple of war zones with American taxpayer-funded guns, especially when we’re handing them over to demonstrably unreliable allies, which eventually find their way to people killing American soldiers.

Oh wait. I do. But I’m equally enervated by the fact that the same government that wants to ban “assault weapons” from law-abiding Americans turns around and gives millions of them to unreliable allies.

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  1. My only problem is that we didn’t lace a large portion of the ammo we supplied to these scumbags with thermite. Or better yet, underbore the barrels for the first 1/3 length from the chamber.

    • I’m thinking lacing ’em witg bacon bits and pig fat serge…LOL. Fun guns for Iraqi’s and none for thee…

      • Gotta love the plan that causes the weapons of your enemies to literally blow up in their faces.

        • The psycholgical warfare part of it all fascinates me. Here’s a great diagram of a trap M70 mag, very popular in the Balkans.

          I can’t zoom in enough to read the text, but I’m pretty sure you leave it half full of rounds and rig the other side with a detonator to explode when empty. That’s half a mag of kaboom as opposed to one brass casing. I’m no EOD tech, but I’m pretty sure that much C4 will vaporize you, your immediate neighbors, and splinter a 20 meter spread of trees at the very least.

        • Isn’t the problem with the mags that after one schmuck kills his team (and neighbors) that the rest figure it out and stop using them?
          You may be better off randomly distributing ‘bad’ rounds in crates of ammo so a few shots into the battle everyone starts going boom. Even if they hold in the classic jihadi hip position, you’ll have a lot of limping or dead enemies.

        • Dead or severely injured victim – Yes
          Dead neighbors and 20 meters of vaporized trees – No

    • Except for the ones that were actually fighting with us. Some of those men were my brothers in arms, far more so than most Americans. They put their lives at risk for me and my team many times over. And many of them lost their lives in our defense.

      • Congratulations, you found a unicorn.

        My family has been fighting the Turks every generation since at least the 1700s. They never change.

        • I never made it to Afghanistan. I spent my time in Iraq. When I compared notes with my grandfather and uncle, we came to the exact same conclusions. Same durka durka (though the Russian slang is “turk” or “dushman”) different goat.

      • Serge, “Dushman” is Russian slang? It means enemy in Urdu, Dari, and many of the languages of Afghanistan, as well as Hindi. It’s the Afghan word for enemy.

        • Same way “Haji” is US slang to Iraqi or Arab but is actually an arabic word for someone who has completed the pilgrimage to Mecca.

        • It just means “enemy”, but that word was my first introduction to how Pashtun society really worked. After being there for months, working with these dudes in one village, I asked them, “where is the Taliban”. They were confused, and said something to the effect, of “here, we are all Taliban”. These are guys I had been fighting with, guys that had formed militias that directly helped us hunt down and kill members of “the Taliban”.
          But ask them where the “dushman” was, and they knew exactly who we were talking about. To them, “Taliban” meant Mujahedin, the guys that probably fought your relatives. Dushman meant the Arabs and the sellouts who tolerated them. The hate they had for them was straight up genocidal. The only time I’ve ever actually seen someone’s rectum torn out and disemboweled was from when they caught an Arab “dushman”.

        • It’s not a generic word. It was specifically used during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan to refer to hostile Afghani fighters. The slang term in Russian that was derived from “dushman” is “dukh”, which is a Russian word that also means “spirit” (or “ghost”). That one proved to be more persistent, and was also in use in Chechnya, and will probably be used in any future conflict with a predominantly Muslim enemy.

          Ironically (to pwrserge, anyway), “dushman” was picked by Soviet troops from the DRA Afghan soldiers they were fighting along.

    • Just remember the government does not trust its own people with the same tools, but trust people who are actively trying to kill Americans with them, let that sink in.

  2. These must be that new transparent AK and AR rifles you have been hearing rumors ghosting about! You know, the ones that are now you see it now you don’t. Really cuts down on the amount of inventory Hillary will have to keep up with in that national assault rifle database she plans on putting in place come next year.

  3. Why put “Assault Rifles” in quotes?
    Far as I can tell, the article referred to used the term correctly.

  4. Where can I get one of these illicit Kalish? I keep hearing about the ‘dark web’ buy trying to find it just leads to shady used-car dealerships.


    • “Where can I get one of these illicit Kalish?”

      Find a bar in a port city frequented by the merchant marine crews.

      Ask nicely, and bring cash.

      Was that helpful enough?

  5. “My only problem is that we didn’t lace a large portion of the ammo we supplied to these scumbags with thermite”

    what makes you think we haven’t? Cause we say we don’t? We’ve seen how ironclad those promises are. I’m fine with it, provided any stuff we do like that doesn’t find it’s way back to the states.

    • Cause ISIS is still using US ammo stockpiles. They would not be doing that if one round per magazine was guaranteed to give your carrier group a personal introduction to your jaw.

    • The shit the PTB inflict on these freaking third world countries.

      Must keep the MIC cranking.

      • You refer to US gov’t writing checks it can’t cover to buy commie POS firearms to provide to shady “friends”?

    • Yes. He’s the retard who snatched defeat from the jaws of victory by handing the country over to his ISIS buddies.

      • When we send troops abroad at the “request” of the national government, it is ALWAYS on condition that our troops will NOT be subject to local laws, but only to the U.S. Military Code of Justice. Bush had negotiated a contract for us to be there for a specified period of time, and that contract expired during the Obama administration. Obama and the U.S administration were more than willing to renew the contract, but the then Iraqi prime minister at the time (Maliki) refused to provide the guarantee. If we’d stayed, our soldiers would have been subject to arrest for whatever reason by Iraqi military and police forces. (Maliki was a real problem for a number of reasons, including overt discrimination against the Kurdish and Sunni minorities.) The refusal was intentional and not the result of any misunderstanding; Maliki wanted us out. Obama really had no choice but to pull our troops. Withdrawing our troops was obviously a mistake, but that mistake rests squarely on Maliki’s shoulders. Had we stayed without a contract and without the guarantee, then we would have been rightfully and legally been deemed an enemy occupier. It was Maliki’s removal after the ISIS invasion that allowed our return.

        I am no fan of Obama, but this issue is not properly dumped on his doorstep.

        AS an aside, it is my opinion that the average Iraqi soldier, who is a conscript, is a coward unless defending family, town, and tribe. Although Iraq is one country, it is not one nation. The Iraqi Army had vastly superior manpower and firepower than ISIS, but broke and ran from an enemy that should have easily been defeated. Part of that was the soldier; part of that was corruption that had numerous “ghost soldiers” in every unit, all members of the commander’s clan, who were on the payroll but otherwise not present, and part of that was the invasive corruption that characterizes most of the command structure outside of the very elite units. The local militias have been effective because they are all related by family and tribal ties. None pledge allegiance to the national government.

        • Please explain why we allowed the WOGS to dictate to us how we go about cleaning up the country we just conquered? The simple solution is that you remove Malaki and replace him with somebody whose brain you didn’t just spread over a convenient wall.

      • Why don’t either one of you explain what the USA was doing there in the first place?

    • Yes actually, at the end of the Bush administration, and the beginning of the Obama one, I was there, and we were easily winning the war. We stomped the insurgency into the F****ing ground. Infact, Many soldiers thought (incorrectly) that Obama was pulling everyone out because the war was “over” and we had “won”. One would be forgiven to think that if they were there at the time.

      • I would argue that there’s never really an “over,” in the Middle East. For us, it was “The Surge.” For them, it was Tuesday. Obama aiding the Syrian rebels means nothing, both because half our stuff always walks and because whoever wins, liberty always loses. It’s not like life as a Muslim woman will suddenly improve ten-fold if the rebels ultimately take control. They won’t get cracking on their own Bill of Rights either. You’re just handing a bunch of bronze-age, sharia loving tribesmen free weapons.

        Bring our sons and daughters home and leave the whole rotten mess that is the Middle East to stew in its own juices for good. No more aid, deployments, nothing. Just sit back and watch everyone shriek “Allahu Akbar” another million times as it all burns by their own hand.

        • Yeah… That works until they get in their rowboats and start heading for Europe (and the Europeans are retarded enough to let them in.) What we need to do, is have a good old fashioned Crusade to exterminate Islam once and for all.

        • Didn’t exactly work for anyone rowboating to Hungary, Bulgaria, etc. They remember 1529, 1683, and 1877 well enough to greet those healthy male “refugees” with two middle fingers extended. And Sweden/Germany have the stones to criticize while their daughters suffer most. Sad times we live in.

        • Oh, I agree. I wish we would’ve left Saddam in power to keep the country. But the above commenter is also right. Left to their own devices, they will spread. Into Europe, Africa, and the rest of Asia. Sure, we could also leave Europe to fend for itself, as they have been foolish enough to bring it upon themselves, but utimatley we will have to face them here. It may take them 50 years, but they will. And by that time, the liberals may have succeeded in nuetering the military, opening the borders, and disarming our nuclear capabilities.

      • Well, maybe some thought that. Personally, in 2007/2008, I saw that a bunch of former or borderline insurgents were being trained armed, and supplied with piles of cash in order to buy their loyalty. I thought it was stupid then, my fellows agreed with me, and I still think so now. Yes, Obama pulled out too soon, but Bush had already been screwing them and us like middle schoolers. Hesitant, non committal, and sure to result in shame and regret. That stupid ass “Sunni awakening” was nothing more than us paying off our competitors to keep the peace. Almost entirely, we went to local leaders (chieftains), offered him cash, then he sent one of his sons to be the local police commander. This happened town by town. Towns with rivalries fired upon one another. We reported this, and were told to stop reporting this. We paid off a ton of uneducated gangs, and called it success. Obama, because he’s an idiot, either believed it or didn’t give a damn. I, and those with me, predicted it then. Oh glory, we were right. And those few people, still quite a few, who gave a damn about their county? They got killed. I remember a particular group/tribe. Good people, worked closely with us, worked hard to make things better. When the Iraqi army fled, they stayed, inflicted excessive casualties on Isis, and were eventually slaughtered. Decent men and their families were killed and enslaved due to the inadequacies and betrayal of their countrymen, as well as the asinine foreign and military policies of our morally bankrupt country. I understand how some folks thought that it would turn out differently, but that’s because I know that too many people are either dangerously idealistic, too lazy to educate themselves, or to ready to believe people whose careers directly benefit from the appearance of success.

    • I was never a fan of the invasion of Iraq to begin with, and put much of the blame squarely on the Bush administration. But by any measure, the Obama administration has taken a bad problem that was turning around and made it much, much worse.

      • Yeah… Because given the intelligence we had at the time, and Saddam’s former actions vis a vi chemical weapons, we could totally let that tinpot psychopath stay in power. Or perhaps we should have waited until they were carting away the victims of Saddam’s latest nerve gas attacks from downtown Tel Aviv in freaking dumptrucks?

        • Serge, maybe we should have. Maybe if there was a real danger there, the country that was actually in danger should have done something about it. But either way, history is not on your side here. There were no WMD that were, at that time, any danger to the US or it’s allies in the Middle East. We jumped the gun, and then didn’t fully commit.
          Look, I’m a warmonger. I’m all for going somewhere, kicking the crap out of them, and taking what we want. I’m all for absolutely destroying our threats. I’d sign back up for either of those any day. But, in the case of Iraq, we did neither. That’s on the Bush administration. And Bush realized that, starting year 6 of his administration. We see that when he finally canned Rumsfeld and got to work. Obama screwed that, finally, good plan up.

        • I say we should have gone in, literally decimated the population, salted the earth, took anything of value not nailed down, then left and let the wogs fend for themselves.

        • The problem with warmongers is they see threats everywhere, well, because they are warmongers. Those half-ass goat-humpers are not threats when they are kept in their own sand box.

          We had no business being in Iraq or Afghanistan in the first place. In my opinion, Obama’s only accomplishment over the last 7.5 years is staying out of Syria. Warmongers would be all over Syria.

          Warmongers at high level make money. Warmongers in the trenches are useful idiots. Well meaning, but useful idiots.

        • The Monomanic Gray Man, you’ve missed the point. The warmonger doesn’t need to see a threat, only opportunity.

        • “We had no business being in Iraq or Afghanistan”

          You need to be a bit more careful with your statements.

      • JWT,

        It wasn’t quite that clear cut. What we had from 2008 on was tactical and operational success that failed at the strategic level. The reason for this is that you can’t pull successful tactical effects up and turn them into successfully achieving ones strategic objectives. When I was deployed to Iraq I was a BCT Commander’s Cultural Advisor and my inputs were focused on how to be successful at the tactical to low operational level. The textbook of working from the bottom up, empowering the lowest (tactical) host country level, and working by, with, and through. What I did then would today be called Engagement for the new 7th Warfighting Function. It was clear even before I completed my deployment, and I documented this in the analysis of the research I was overseeing and conducting through conducting Engagements with elites, notables, non-elites, non-notables, Internally Displaced Iraqis, etc that what was clearly happening was a strategic failure of the Counterinsurgency (COIN) Dynamic.

        Part of the doctrine calls for working from the bottom up, empowering the lowest level, and working by with and through. But it also calls for the successful tactical level effects to be pulled up and tethered to the successes at the strategic level. The strategic level in Iraq was first run by the Coalition Provisional Authority and then by US Embassy Baghdad with direction from the National Command Authority in DC. From 2003 through January 2009 this was the Bush 43 Administration and from January 2009 through 2011 was the Obama Administration – the latter inheriting agreements with the UN and the Iraqis regarding how occupation would end and what the dynamics of it would be. I wrote about that here:

        The failure in Iraq beginning in the summer of 2008 was a failure to connect the strategic to the tactical. So we had a lot of tactical success and yet strategic failure. In many ways this was a failure of the Bush 43 Administration to plan for how to win/secure the peace. This has been well documented in many places (including by me at the link above). A lot of the national to theater strategic level failure was failing to listen to what the Iraqis were actually telling us. That they (both Sunnis going back to the beginning of the Awakenings in 2006 and the returned from exile Shi’a that we had empowered and who controlled the government) wanted us gone as quickly as possible so that they could settle their debts with each other. We spent so much time trying to get the Government of Iraq, through the Iraqi High Election Commission (IHEC), to come up with a better way to do the parliamentary elections in late 2008 that were pushed to 2009, that we didn’t understand that they rolled us on the process (I had to write the papers for the Army explaining the screwed up system IHEC created, which we approved before anyone from the US side understood it, and the negative effects that were likely to, and did, occur as a result. I wrote those papers because the State Department’s own election specialist, who was assigned to my BCT’s ePRT to get him out of the Green Zone, didn’t understand the system and asked if I could explain it.). We at the same time got rolled on the attempt to negotiate a Status of Forces Agreement. Without one, as you know, we won’t leave personnel deployed in an Operating Environment as it places them outside of American jurisdiction. Running the clock on our negotiators on these was part of Maliki’s goals to coup proof himself, to get us out of the way so he could resolve the problem of the Awakenings, and so he could then consolidate power.

        This is the real failure of Iraq: the strategic failure that ultimately began with the Bush 43 Administration’s failure to plan for how to win the peace, not just the war. And that failure began with failing to understand the Area of Operations and its socio-cultural dynamic (the social, cultural, religious, political, economic, kinship, and historical dynamics), as well as the regional and geostrategic contexts. So what we have is a tremendous amount of success, almost all of it at the tactical level, and it was undone by strategic malpractice leading to strategic failure. The stated strategic objectives that the Bush 43 Administration delineated were never achieved and as a result of that failure the Area of Responsibility was destabilized. Where we are at now is not a place where victory on the battlefield is not the real concern. This concern now is how to best manage and mitigate this problem set in order to turn threats into challenges and challenges into opportunities.

  6. Why are we buying guns for these governments? Everyone knows that the majority are going to wind up in the wrong hands. They should be buying their own.

    • By supplying corrupt .govs with weapons US assures turmoil in the middle east and future conflicts for us to get ourselves into. Foriegn conflicts abroad allows for a nice distraction so the sheeple at home don’t notice the high level of corruption and general jackassery in D.C.

        • Anybody around here understand the concept of the MIC? Must keep the gears (money) of the MIC cranking!

        • I hate to break it to you….it was a shithole well before that. It now makes for useful political distractions back home when pols don’t want to address real problems our country is facing. If you are always thwarting the next crisis or terrorist attack you never have to do anything proactive to fix the economy, social security, immigration, etc. It’s called wagging the dog. We need to wash our hands of middle east conflicts and secure our borders so these invaders don’t overrun us like Europe. Let them fight and kill each other. We don’t need to “help”.

        • You’re thinking the 80s. In the 60s, Kabul was a relatively nice and clean town. I have pictures from my Grandpa’s time there in the late 70s / early 80s (as a “military advisor”) The family archives have him and my uncle standing on the same street corner a decade apart. The difference is quite staggering.

  7. Just think if all that money and effort that went to Daesh, went into useful things. Like border patrol. For the children.

    • Now that I’ve read it, are these unreliable allies the same as the highly touted mythical moderate rebels? So Bush lies us into a war with Iraq. We go in and destroy the (evil, but aren’t they all?) government and unleash a religious hornets nest that’s been pent up since Sykes–Picot, allow Iran (who were supposed to hate because they overthrew the US’s sock puppet dictator) to have great influence, then Obama does basically the same with Lebanon. Now they want to overthrow Assad in Syria AND take out Assad’s opposition, ISIS, by arming rebels who are probably ISIS or Al Quada, while Assad is backed by Russia (a major nuclear power).

      What could possibly go wrong?

      • Dictators are great at keeping a lid on the rabble. America it seems has to re-learn that lesson every ten years or so.

      • Arming rebels is something we should always do. Train them to recognize and use ARs and AKs, then give them a dozen single-shot .22s and a brick (1) of ammo, and point them toward the enemy. If they actually are “rebels”, they will be driving tanks or APCs loaded with RPGs in a few weeks, if not it cost our country a couple thousand bucks and will not significantly threaten our soldiers. Give them billions of dollars worth of high tech state of the art weaponry that even our own troops can’t get? Why the hell would we even THINK of doing that?

      • Ok… I am more than a little tired of this “Bush Lied” bullshit. The war with Iraq was justified the second Saddam kicked out the UN weapons inspectors that he had agreed to under the terms of the 1991 treaty that kept him from getting his teeth kicked in after the Gulf War. Our intelligence suggested that he was a threat. We shared that intelligence. Just because Bush was not psychic does not make him a liar.

        • And *every* other intel agency had the same data, including Putin.

          There was universal consensus, Saddam had the WMD.

          The fact it didn’t exist in appreciable quantities was irrelevant, he convinced the world he had them, and he paid for it at the end of a rope…

  8. Hey, at least the Clinton foundation made some cash from the arms deals to support their, you know, ‘charitable’ works.

  9. barry trusts Isis and that lot with guns that he doesn’t trust law abiding Americans with. What does that say about barry?

  10. Yup, lived it. Spent 2004 running around Mosul trying to train and support Iraqi police. Selling the Glock 19s we supplied for food and other stuff was rampant. I had police trying to trade me their shiny new G19’s for my beat to hell M9 because you know, plastic bad or something.

    Also the US Army supplied them with AK47’s made in China. Now, I’m not a Trump/Sanders supporter (from an economics perspective that’s a little bit the same thing) but surely some U.S. sheet metal stamping plant could have gotten that contract. Kind of dumb in my opinion.

    • I bought about 75K AKs during my time as the logistics guy for the Iraqi police in 2006. They were all Bulgarian or Romanian. Not saying we didn’t buy Chinese but not when I was there or any of the stuff my predecessor was buying either in late 2005.

    • In early ’05, my company (a wheeled-vehicle maintenance unit) was tasked with training some ING for a month when the MP company who had been doing it redeployed, and their replacements hadn’t arrived.
      Of the roughly 150 new recruits, only about 1/3 were really serious about it, were all prior service troops, and were chomping at the bit to go fight insurgents (who they thought were all Iranians); 1/3 were a gaggle of fetid sad-sack cowards who only there for a paycheck, and the last 1/3 “lost” their AKs almost as soon as they were issued…. or they just plain vanished. That was the most futile waste of time of our entire 15 month deployment.

      On several occasions after QRF zapped hajis trying to sneak through the wire, some were found to be among those who deserted, complete with their issue AKs, uniforms, ICOMs and pace-counted diagrams of our hooch areas & DFAC.

    • “Now, I’m not a Trump/Sanders supporter (from an economics perspective that’s a little bit the same thing) but surely some U.S. sheet metal stamping plant could have gotten that contract. Kind of dumb in my opinion.”

      Which shows you know nothing about AK’s.

      We Americans don’t know shit about building them. Don’t believe me? Look at the current Century RAS-47/C39 and I.O. Inc. offerings as just a modicum of proof. They are straight-up unreliable pieces of garbage with questionable metallurgy.

      Sorry but the Chinese and others who have been building them for years for their armies have way more knowledge, skill, experience, and logistical infrastructure to build them. AK’s are not AR’s. You can’t just put them in a CNC machine and call it a day. AK’s particularly stamped ones are way more labor intensive than what you have been told. They still require Old World craftsmanship and finishing to get right that can’t be found in a CNC machine. The whole AK’s=cheap paradigm comes from a lack of knowledge on economics. AK’s were made in places where cheap labor was abundant and governments hostile to capitalism so profit was not an issue.

      So just because we are ‘Murica does not mean we can do everything and anything better.

  11. When I was in Iraq my job was buying and distributing weapons to the Police. In the 6 month’s I did that job we had a 20% to 25% shrinkage rate for weapons. That does not count when we handed over guns with a distribution plan and the Iraqis immediately threw out the plan in favor of sending extra weapons to friends and shorting political enemies… or just putting guns in personal stockpiles.

  12. “On the outposts where American troops and Afghan and Iraqi units worked together, the local units were often a fraction of their reported strength and dwindled as ever more national police officers or soldiers disappeared or deserted, vanishing with their firearms.”
    The article does not point out an important fact. At least when it came to Afghanistan, often those soldiers were completely unpaid. As in, once they were out there in the far outposts, their entire paycheck would disappear for 4 to 6 months at a time. Then they would get a months pay, and no back pay. This was the primary cause of desertion that I saw working with them.
    Stop paying US soldiers for 6 months at a time. See how many stay on their jobs, and see how many sell everything they’ve been issued.

    • We have always underestimated the level and depth of the institutional corruption of the governments and militaries with which have become allied. To be sure, that corruption long preceded us, and will exist long after we are gone. Our push to democratize tribal cultures will inevitably and invariably fail. They must, should they choose, democratize themselves free of outside influence. And that will not happen until there is a sufficient infrastructure and middle class to support such a movement.

    • Nice story JWT, but why does it matter? Place is one big-ass USA driven mess. What the hell do the details matter?

      Mark: Democratize? You seriously think that’s what the USA military is doing in the Middle East?

        • I read your post about American troops. The present mess is all American driven. Saddam kept a cork on that mess. GHWB was smart enough to just drive his ass back over the border of Kuwait. GWB wasn’t as smart.

        • My post about American troops? Which post is that? You know Afghanistan and Iraq are different places, right?

    • No sir. The middle east is as instable as ever. And the “petrol dollar” is weaker than it has been in 40 years. It was when the middle east was at it’s most stable, when they could all agree with each other, that the oil prices were the highest.

      • Your respinse to my very generalized statement is…whats the word, too simplistic. Society and civilization, do not evolve in a linear fashion. Petro dollar was strong 40 years ago because we had just come off the gold standard and SA needed our protection, once it was known hiw much oil they had. Much tos changed from oil recovery to replacement energy sources to the internet, its a different game. Stability in the region gives the Saudis an oportunity to court China or Russia for protection. Saddam, Khadaffi, Assad all our boys until they threaten to switch to gold backed currency. Just like Africa, their resources are much more attainable for first world countries atrock bottom prices as lo g as the people are impoverished. The locals get strong and stop slaughtering each other, they just might figue out how to build some semblence of a stable society and charge a premium for their resources. Why do you think american manufactuing tanked and to mexico and then to china. Not to mention keeping the m.i.c. rolling. Dont get lost in semantics, if the middle east were stable, they wouldnt need our proetectter and the petrol dollar loses value, stability of course being a relative term. Sry for fat phone thumbs.

  13. What I find ironic about this is the .gov will gleefully give Hadji Bombvest loads of select fire assault weapons, grenades, mortars, etc….Law abiding Amiricans….no toys for you….because NFA and rules and stuff….and we hate you.

  14. No one has mentioned that during in the entire 10 year American occupation of Iraq not one American servicemen was killed in the Kurdish zone
    The American taxpayer spent $25 billion equipping the Iraq National Army
    Thats billion with a B!
    When Isis attacked Mosul and Kirkuk, The Iraqi national army dropped their weapons and ran
    Isis gathered up unbelievable amounts of American arms and ammunition
    The Kurds managed to grab a little bit of stuff in Kirkuk that the Americans had supplied to the Iraqi national army
    Since then the Syrian and Iraqi Kurds have pushed back Isis using Soviet era small arms only
    They have also managed to get some battlefield pick ups from Isis of Soviet era tanks and a few American Mraps and armored security vehicles
    Now that the Syrian Kurds have conquered the entire northern part of Syria at the Turkish border and taken the town of Manbij, The Turks have now crossed the border and attacked the Kurds with tanks
    The Kurds are the only good guys in this story
    They have not dropped their weapons and ran, but stood up to Isis
    They share our democratic ideas and value women’s rights
    The Syrian Kurds have female front line soldiers including tank crews and they have taken lots of casualties
    These are the people the U S should have given 25 billion in weapons!

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