Logistics: Bureaucratic Shortcomings in Iraq


July 23, 2006: Perhaps the most serious problem hampering the development of an effective army in Iraq is the absence of an efficient bureaucracy. U.S. military advisors, generally wary of bureaucracy, given their experience with the bloated Department of Defense back home, have found that Iraq is desperately in need of some. The Iraqi Ministry of Defense (MOD) is plagued by a shortage of personnel, rampant corruption, and poor work habits. The last is particularly irksome. There have been cases in which Iraq troops in the middle of operations have not received rations or even ammunition, because some office in the MOD closed down for the day�"or even for the weekend�"before finishing the necessary paperwork. Making matters worse, since the MOD and the Iraqi Army both lack "service troops," even when the paperwork gets done properly, the contractor selected to deliver the goods may have knocked off for the weekend as well. While American advisors have developed ways to get around these problems (mostly by relying on U.S. units and supply lines), this bureaucratic weakness remains a major obstacle to developing an effective Iraqi Army.




Help Keep Us From Drying Up

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling.

Each month we count on your contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage.
Subscribe   Contribute   Close