The Iraqi government has accepted only a fraction of fighting vehicles the U.S. has offered to provide it, indicating leaders in Baghdad desperately holding their country together amid the Islamic State group onslaught may be trying to appease multiple masters.
Amid the rise of the Islamic State group late last year, U.S. News reported the U.S. military was hoarding more than 3,000 fighting vehicles in nearby Kuwait, mostly the mine-resistant, ambush-protected combat trucks known as MRAPs that played a key role in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This stockpile, made up largely of equipment withdrawn from Afghanistan, was designed to give war planners options and bolster Iraq’s military forces as they disintegrated in the face of Islamic State group violence.
More than six months later, only 300 MRAPs have actually gone to the Iraqi government, U.S. News has subsequently learned, defying logic among observers who question why the besieged nation would not accept a deal that bolsters its defenses and improves greatly on its outdated fleet of vehicles. […]