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Posted: 8/8/2003 7:22:33 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/8/2003 7:32:42 AM EDT by rickinvegas]
Holy Crap! WTF is this all about?
Oh Great! I can hear it now, "Sorry, the price for that US made gas piston is now $150. The US Govt. wants them all!"


Los Angeles Times
August 8, 2003
Pg. 1
Arms Plan For Iraqi Forces Is Questioned

By Mark Fineman, Times Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — In a nation awash with hundreds of thousands of AK-47 assault rifles, the U.S.-led occupation authority is planning to buy and import 34,000 more of the ubiquitous weapons to equip a new Iraqi army.

The plan has baffled some observers, not only because U.S. forces in Iraq have already seized and stockpiled thousands of the rifles since April, but because defense analysts have strongly recommended that the new Iraqi army be equipped with more modern, U.S.-made weapons.

The AK-47, designed by Russians shortly after World War II, is manufactured almost exclusively in former Soviet Bloc countries and China. Among the possible beneficiaries of such an unlikely U.S. order: Poland, where the assault rifles are made and support for the war in Iraq has been strong.

With a bidding deadline today, the Coalition Provisional Authority now running Iraq is quietly seeking the best deal on the arsenal from U.S.-licensed arms dealers, asking that they deliver the assault weapons to the Taji military base north of Baghdad by Sept. 3. The plans were spelled out on its official Web site this week.

A spokesman for the Coalition Joint Task Force, which commands the military occupation in Iraq, was unaware of the request for bids and questioned it.

"That's surprising," said Army Capt. Jeff Fitzgibbons, a task force spokesman in Baghdad. "It would seem to me odd that we're out there looking to buy more weapons for a place where we've already captured and set aside so many of them. It would raise a red flag for me, that's for sure."

But an official with the occupation authority in Baghdad, who asked not to be named, confirmed the plans and said the AK-47s would be used to equip a new Iraqi army being formed to replace the 400,000-strong military that was formally disbanded in May.

The U.S. Army and private American defense contractors, led by Los Angeles-based Northrop Grumman, have begun to train the first Iraqi army recruits in Kirkuk under a $48-million Pentagon contract, and the Taji base is the supply point for that northern Iraqi city. The new force is expected to number 12,000 at the end of this year and 40,000 in three years.

In its Internet solicitation for the 34,000 weapons and accessories, technically called a request for proposals, the occupation authority specified that it wanted to buy "brand-new, never-fired, fixed-stock AK-47 assault rifles with certified manufacture dates not earlier than 1987."

The authority wants a new shipment of the weapons from a single source "so that they're all of the same standard, and they're all new and ready to use," the official said. He declined to speculate on the cost of the weapons or the source of the funds that will be used to buy them, adding, "We're looking for a product that works, and we're looking for value."

Individual AK-47s are advertised on the Internet for several hundred dollars apiece. Although it was unclear what the per-rifle cost would be under such a large purchase, the total order would presumably exceed $1 million.

But the U.S. forces who seized control of Iraq in April have since discovered vast stockpiles of new, never-fired AK-47s, which U.S. military officials said have been deliberately warehoused for a future Iraqi army.

At one compound of eight concrete warehouses that a company of the 10th Engineer Battalion found in central Baghdad in mid-April, Times reporters watched soldiers form a human chain to fill a truck bed with AK-47s so new the soldiers' hands turned orange from the packing grease.

One officer on the scene at the time called the arms cache a "mother lode." Another said there were so many weapons he'd lost count. First Lt. Matt Miletich, who was in charge of the company, said then that the weapons would be held and guarded until a new Iraqi government and army were ready to receive them.

The following day, U.S. Marines who were securing the city of Tikrit north of Baghdad announced that they had found 100,000 AK-47s there, 80,000 of them in a hospital. And in the months that have followed, there have been almost daily reports of U.S. military units seizing quantities of AK-47s both large and small, new and used.

"We've been designating a lot of these captured weapons specifically for the new Iraqi army and police organizations we're setting up," Fitzgibbons said, although he acknowledged that many of the weapons were old.

The civil authority official, however, asserted that the makes and models of the new weapons seized have "slight differences" depending on the nation where they were made, and that the goal of the agency's AK-47 purchase is to standardize the arms.

He added that the agency decided to order AK-47s rather than another weapon made in the U.S. or another Western country not only because the Iraqi recruits are familiar with it but because "the AK-47 is the easiest weapon to teach, and it's the easiest to use."

Designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov in 1947, the AK-47 is manufactured largely in former Soviet Bloc nations. It was standard issue for the Iraqi army and security services under the Saddam Hussein regime, which handed out well over a million of them to soldiers and civilians and warehoused tens of thousands more.

To some U.S. defense analysts, that is scant justification.

"Basically, they would be equipping the new and improved Iraqi military with un-American weapons. If you've decided to start all over again from the beginning, it would make sense to equip the new Iraqi military with American equipment," said John Pike, who heads the Virginia-based, nonprofit GlobalSecurity.org defense policy group.

"It raises a lot of interesting questions that will continue to be raised as they rebuild the Iraqi military If played right, this could be a real bonanza for American armament companies."

Pike and his group say that the purchase, presumably the first of many for the new Iraqi army, potentially has multibillion-dollar implications.
A recent study by Global- Security.org on rebuilding the Iraqi military said: "It is important for the United States to monitor and supervise Iraq's military reconstruction, as the U.S. has an interest in reequipping Iraq with U.S. military equipment. The use of U.S. systems would require significant training and allow the U.S. to have continued military influence in the country long after significant U.S. units had departed.

"Likewise, if left to its own accord, Iraq would likely turn to other available systems on the open arms sales market, most likely Russian or Russian- derivative arms that the Iraqi military already has experience in using."

The coalition authority's request for the rifles does specify that its supplier have "required licenses and credentials" that include an official registration with the State Department as a "broker" of defense products and a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Class III "license for U.S. companies," which permits the manufacture or sale of fully automatic assault weapons.

Such a license permits a U.S. company to sell the weapons only to U.S. law enforcement agencies. But if the company also is registered with the State Department's Defense Trade Controls Office, it can broker the sale of those weapons from a foreign manufacturer to another foreign buyer.

Independent analysts added that, given those specifications, the coalition's winning bidder probably would be a licensed U.S. arms broker or dealer who arranges the shipment to Iraq from a former Soviet Bloc country that makes AK-47s.

Link Posted: 8/8/2003 7:45:12 AM EDT
I wonder if Gary bid?

Link Posted: 8/8/2003 8:02:06 AM EDT
I guess this explains the current lack of SAR-1s.
Link Posted: 8/8/2003 8:04:32 AM EDT
This is so stupid, they could rearsenal these things right there and probably make them as uniform as needed to be. Bet there is money in this for some one. Pictures in front of the court house to follow. Iraqscam. I hate to think how many we have destroyed all over the world since Desert Storm 1.
Link Posted: 8/8/2003 8:08:14 AM EDT
Link Posted: 8/8/2003 8:19:53 AM EDT
I see the logic here. I would not be arming a recently conquered enemy with state of the art stuff either. I'd in fact be thinking that the sks is even easier to teach.
Link Posted: 8/8/2003 9:36:44 AM EDT
Of course they dont want to give them arms that would prove to be a bigger threat to us...thats why they're not issuing them Garands or Enfields or the like :) At the distances avaliable to them in a flat-as-hell place like most of Iraq south of Kurdistan, a full-power battle rifle, even a bolt gun, would be at an advantage over an assault rifle if placed in the hands of a properly trained unit.
Link Posted: 8/8/2003 9:55:04 AM EDT
It makse sense issueing them a rifle they already know. The country is awash with them, so buying new rifles seems odd. Most have to be junk though, and for the price, it is probably just cheaper to buy new than to fix the old ones.
Link Posted: 8/8/2003 11:27:38 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Aimless:

"the AK-47 is the easiest weapon to teach, and it's the easiest to use."


Huh? I can understand that many Iraqis know how to use them, but "easier to teach"? The safety and magazine release suck!

Even if they are dumb enough to not use existing AK -47s, why not order 74s?

The whole thing smells like a rat.



Those devices you complain about are called LEVERS, too advanced for your brilliant legal mind?

The reason no 74s, have you seen the warehouses piled high with 7.62x39 ammo over there? I think its bullshit to order all new AKs as well, but there is something to be said for a uniform factory new firearm built to the same specs.
Link Posted: 8/8/2003 11:31:33 AM EDT

Originally Posted By shotar:
I guess this explains the current lack of SAR-1s.



No, that would be Century not wanting to pay the Romainians more than slave wages for the fruit of thir labor.
Link Posted: 8/8/2003 2:46:30 PM EDT
They are buiding an ARMY - not a "militia"

They want new stuff - and NOT just AKs

Read this.........


www.cpa-iraq.org/business/R0005requirements.html
Link Posted: 8/8/2003 3:23:45 PM EDT
Sounds like there going to use Polish AKs. I'm thinking they want to use 7.62x39mm weapons so that they can tap into the massive stores of Iraqi ammo they have captured. Just adding rifling to the AKs of the new Iraqi army would put them a step ahead of Saddam's remaining fighters and rebels. So far it seems they haven't hit much, and not for lack of trying.
Link Posted: 8/8/2003 4:06:21 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/8/2003 4:08:47 PM EDT
Aimless, ever see the film footage from Liberia. Same crap. If I ever had to go into combat again, I would want to go against someone like that. I could beat the crap out of them with my Mauser.
Link Posted: 8/8/2003 4:30:52 PM EDT

Originally Posted By obershutze916:


If I ever had to go into combat again................



I will be busy elsewhere that day.
Link Posted: 8/8/2003 4:36:37 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 5subslr5:

Originally Posted By obershutze916:


If I ever had to go into combat again................



I will be busy elsewhere that day.



Hell, I would be too old, and my wife would probably be there yelling at me about how poorly I washed the dishes.
Link Posted: 8/8/2003 4:44:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Aimless:

Originally Posted By AJjer_Bullets:
Sounds like there going to use Polish AKs. I'm thinking they want to use 7.62x39mm weapons so that they can tap into the massive stores of Iraqi ammo they have captured. Just adding rifling to the AKs of the new Iraqi army would put them a step ahead of Saddam's remaining fighters and rebels. So far it seems they haven't hit much, and not for lack of trying.

I remember reading that the green beret types (dont' remember the exact unit) had a hard time in Afghanistan. The recruits were used to hardship and were experienced in combat, but couldn't hit a darn thing. They had no concept of using the sights, they just use their AKs as full-auto bullet hoses.



You're not talking about Grom are you? They are the equivalent of our Navy SEALs and also double as our version of the Secret Service and Diplomatic Security Service... those guys are not hosers. They were the ones that took one of the ports in Iraq.
Link Posted: 8/8/2003 4:45:18 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/8/2003 4:47:16 PM EDT by Aimless]
Link Posted: 8/8/2003 6:07:36 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/8/2003 9:59:37 PM EDT
What do you want to bet that those captured Iraqi AKs end up in Afghanistan and in other parts of the world where we want to equip our allies with other weapons besides M-16s, not to mention our own armories for future use by our military. There is another thread on this board about older captured AKs being destroyed by the government so here are their replacements maybe?. One other thing, Polish special forces were there fighting along side us and do you think that this is some sort of way of paying them back? Buy a ton of AKs from Poland to keep their arsenals open and people employed, albeit at inflated prices.
Link Posted: 8/9/2003 12:50:28 AM EDT
The new Afghani army is being equipped with brand new Romainian AKs as well. There were plenty of AKs already there, just like Iraq. The primary reason is to get everyone in on a piece of the pie that Iraq is going to turn out to be. The only people that these rifles could come from under the ROP (convieniently written this way) is one of the new NATO nations that used to be Warsaw Pact, i.e. Romainia (who sent troops to fight alongside us in Afghanistan), Poland (who sent troops to fight along side us in Iraq), Bulgaria (who are now becomeing VERY important in future US Army Europe deployments) etc.

It's just a global version of the Miltary-Industrial Complex. The older captured arms will be probably destroyed to prevent their use in the future, but mainly to preserve the market for our allies. It will be easier to sell new rifles to other countires if there aren't a glut of former Iraqi weapons laying around.

The choice of the AK, PK, etc is a valid one. It makes much more sense to use that platform considering EVERYONE that is probably going to need to use one, already has trained on it. Also we know these type weapons do work in that enviroment. They have tremendous stores of ammo available.

The reason for the new ones is just another form of global welfare (i.e. foregin aid) that the US provides the world.

Ross
Link Posted: 8/9/2003 2:57:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/9/2003 3:00:29 PM EDT by sfcret]
this just doesn't make sense to buy new AKs when there are like hundred of thousand of these already in country.


personally I wouldn't let them have a airsoft, just arm their army with sticks, and nothing more.
Link Posted: 8/10/2003 8:20:06 AM EDT

and just like Vietnam, they are having problems galore with them



Sure sounds like it in this AAR:


M4: Soldiers were very satisfied with this weapon. It performed well in a demanding environment especially given the rail system and accompanying sensors and optics. As one Brigade Commander said ?The M4 with PEQ and PAC provided overmatch over our threat equipped with AK47s and RPGs.? The general consensus is that every rifleman wants the M4 vice the M16A2.
Link Posted: 8/10/2003 10:40:13 AM EDT

Originally Posted By sfcret:
this just doesn't make sense to buy new AKs when there are like hundred of thousand of these already in country.


personally I wouldn't let them have a airsoft, just arm their army with sticks, and nothing more.



They should buy them some Galil's :)
Link Posted: 8/10/2003 10:45:24 AM EDT
This could be good for all of us,factory over-runs.Look for new laminate stock sets to hit the Country in the comming years.Not to mention spare parts for the next several years.I'm glad to see new production runs of the AKM.
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