Tag Archives: Fallujah

Polished tanks

Blogger and freelance embed journalist Bill Ardolino finds that some pay, body armor and weapon shortages in the new Iraqi army are due to corruption among senior commanders, affecting day-to-day operations and the lives of everyone below them:

"Perhaps half of the Iraqi Army in Fallujah, primarily the ‘Jundi’ soldiers at the bottom of the pay scale, haven’t been paid in months. As a result, 160 soldiers in the Iraqi Third Battalion recently walked off the job because of missed salaries. The supposed number of soldiers in the battalion was about 700, yet the loss of 160 reduced the unit’s real strength by half. Fuel and equipment shortages greatly influenced by corruption also hamper operations."

Corruption among generals and colonels was believed to be common in the defunct South Vietnamese army, as well, where the commander’s traditional waxed jeep often extended to polished tanks and personnel carriers. Lots of gold-plating, in other words, indicating units organized for something other than fighting. Hopefully the Iraqis can stop it before it worsens.

Guarding the gates

Women marines at the gates of Fallujah. Yeah, that Fallujah.

"Working in two shifts with four Marines, they search hundreds of Iraqi women daily. Searching purses and a physical check of the individuals, the Marines are searching for weapons, anything suspicious and also ensuring Iraqis turn their cell phones off before crossing the border. ‘The signal from the phone could trigger a planted bomb,’ said Lance Cpl. Genevieve R. Kocourek, a combat engineer with Company A., 7th Engineer Support Battalion, CLB-8, 2nd MLG."

Good stuff from a Marine’s blog, Live in Iraq