Procurement: July 5, 2004


Much to the dismay of many military equipment manufacturers, many new NATO members have found it convenient to donate surplus military equipment to the new Iraqi army. The old Iraqi army used a lot of Russian equipment, and the new NATO nations in Eastern Europe have been reducing the size of their Russian style armed forces for the past ten years. As a result, many of these East European nations have warehouses full of old Russian army equipment they dont need. While a lot of this stuff was disposed of (as military surplus, or just scrap), in the early 1990s, a lot was kept, just in case. But now that these nations are safely in NATO, they dont need a lot of this old military equipment, in case the Russians come back. In the past month, Romania sent 35,000 combat helmets (of the basic Russian design that the Iraqis have been using for decades) and many other countries have offered similar shipments of uniforms, weapons and other equipment. The United States usually offers to move. The Romanian helmets were moved by U.S. Air Force transports. The East Europeans get rid of the stuff they dont need, and the Iraqis get stuff they do need without having to pay for it.


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