When queried about why the U.S. Army is going
to transfer some 8,000 armored Humvees to the Iraqi army and security forces,
army officials pointed out that the troops back in the United States had little
need for these armored vehicles. Moreover, the weight of the armor had
shortened the life of those hummers, making it even less useful to bring them
home. Finally, the Iraqis needed armored rides, since most of their soldiers
and police were still driving around in unarmored vehicles. Meanwhile, U.S.
troops are getting several thousand MRAPs (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected),
and sharp declines in violence have reduced the need for armored vehicles in
general, at least for the American forces.
Over 4,000 of the armored hummers
are being turned over to Iraq this year,
and the rest by the end of 2009. It will
cost the army about $30,000 per vehicle.
Some 40 percent of the cost is the value of the used vehicle. The rest is for
refurbishment. This will be done in Iraq or Kuwait. Several hundred Iraqi Army
mechanics will be involved with the refurb, which will provide them with
experience in working on hummers.