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  • The Great Iraqi Bug Out and the Death of “LOGCAP”

    Posted by Trent Telenko on June 17th, 2014 (All posts by )

    This article from the McClatchy papers makes clear that the collapse of the Shia dominated Iraqi Army was arranged. See: “Iraqi soldier who fought with Americans says decision to flee left him feeling ashamed” By Hannah Allam and Mohammed al Dulaimy.

    While this explains a great deal why the American intelligence community was blindsided by the collapse, it leaves a huge strategic level issue for the Obama Administration. Will they protect American hired private military corporation personnel from torture-murder by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) Forces? The failure to do so would be a huge strategic blunder that would cripple American conventional force projection for literally decades.

    Why this is requires explaining “LOGCAP.”

    LOGCAP Explained
    LOGCAP or “Logistics Civil Augmentation Program” was established in 1985 primarily to pre-plan for contingencies and to “leverage existing civilian resources.” It was not really used in a large way until the 1st Gulf War of 1990-1991, to take advantage of the Saudi and Gulf States civil economies to replace uniformed American logistical support. This was as much a political move by the Pres. George H.W. Bush Administration to manage American anti-war, and primarily Democratic anti-war, opposition to retaking Kuwait as it was a logistical exercise. (Hold that thought!)

    LOGCAP was later expanded by the Clinton Administration to cover “operations other than war” in places like Somalia, Southwest Asia, Haiti, the Balkans, and East Timor. This allowed the Clinton Administration to exercise a muscular and multi-lateral foreign policy with the minimum of senior uniformed military opposition. Opposition which balked at “operations other than war” as the American Senior military leadership’s version of the “Vietnam War syndrome,” as the US Army’s deployments during the Kosovo war made clear.

    This Clinton Administration “work around” approach to American military “Flag Rank” opposition was hugely apparent with the Croat “Operation Storm” in Bosnia, where “Military Professional Resources Incorporated” acted as an American military surrogate to plan the Croat Offensive that broke Serbian power in Bosnia.

    Effectively “Private Military Corporation” contractor support has been the keystone of American military power projection since the 2nd Clinton Administration. This fact has been documented in a lot of places. See this July 2000 article from US Army Logistician Magazine — Contingency Contracting in East Timor — or this more recent Defense Industry Daily article that speaks to the most recent LOCGCAP 4 contract — LOGCAP 4: Billions of Dollars Awarded for Army Logistics Support.

    LOGCAP after 9/11/2001
    The two Pres. George W. Bush Administrations further expanded the use of LOGCAP after 9-11-2001, not only to manage public opposition to the “War on Terror” but also as a “Fight the War on the Cheap” exercise because your average logistics/garrison specialist first class (SFC) with government income, free medical care, education benefits, and housing allowances for three dependents earn earns arguably 125-150K in “benefits.” A DynCorp or KBR contractor costs the US government up to twice what a SFC costs in terms of annual income, but it is a known, predictable, fixed cost incurred and gone; whereas the Federal government will pay for the SFC and his dependents for another 20+ years in terms of benefits obligated by service.

    This was in fact one of the reasons Democrats in Congress hated private military corporations doing uniformed military work in the War on Terror. Their extensive use in the 1st Gulf War plus the on-going operations in Iraq and Afghanistan hugely reduced the long term opportunity for graft and corruption via the Congressional administration of uniformed veterans education and medical benefits.

    LOGCAP as a Foreign Policy Disaster
    LOGCAP in Iraq and Afghanistan is only part of the private military corporation portfolio. The DEA uses a number of private military corporations in the Drug wars in Latin America for aerial electronic surveillance and training of local security forces. The American government also uses a number of private military corporations to furnish spares for things like the ATK built AC208B light gunship in Iraq.

    The torture-murder of any of those Iraq private military contractors will utterly cripple current American foreign policy as implemented since the late 1990’s by the Defense Department regional commanders.

    The lack of trust such a mass abandonment of private military contractors by the Obama Administration — a lack of trust that is already bad since the abandonment of both the American Ambassador and his private military contractor bodyguards at Benghazi, Libya — will result in demands for far more money up front in the form of letters of credit in foreign banks not under US Government control to pay for both private pre-paid “go to hell plan” preparations and death benefits.

    That sort of change will increase private military corporation contractor support costs to such a degree that it will require uniformed US military in much larger numbers to replace private military corporations. The functional impact will be the reducing of American military type “hard power” projection world-wide for decades…and increase the amount of graft flowing through Democratic interest groups if the security threat warrants the use of a lot of uniformed military to address an existential foreign threat.

    Isn’t it funny how things work out like that with the Obama Administration?

     

    19 Responses to “The Great Iraqi Bug Out and the Death of “LOGCAP””

    1. Trent Telenko Says:

      Comments on.

    2. MikeK Says:

      The destruction of LOGCAP is a feature, not a bug to leftist Democrats, and I’m not sure there are any of the other type left. I have long since concluded, observing some of my own children, that they live in a magical world where no bad thing happens, except opposition to gay marriage or oppression of LGBTQ students. The world outside, including the economy, is a fantasy. One of them is coming to reality at 34 and one of them is successful and the leftist thing is as much rebellion against dad as anything else. He will be 50 next year. Adolescence gets longer and longer.

    3. dearieme Says:

      “While this explains a great deal why the American intelligence community was blindsided by the collapse”: I thought that it had a history of not predicting events? Most intelligence services have their failures – it’s in the nature of things.

      Is any part of this whole business an effort to evade Constitutional restrictions on presidents launching wars on their own say-so?

      It surprises me that Clinton should have been a keen proponent of something that “hugely reduced the long term opportunity for graft and corruption” for Congressional Democrats. Perhaps he hadn’t foreseen that?

      When you add “The two Pres. George W. Bush Administrations further expanded the use of LOGCAP”, then it makes me wonder why the two Presidents who had evaded service in Vietnam were playing games like this. Perhaps they lacked respect for the military?

      “would cripple American conventional force projection for literally decades” leaves a tricky calculation. Some people will construe that as meaning “will make future nonsenses like Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan less likely” and will therefore welcome it. That’s the trouble with picking bloody stupid fights that you go on to lose; it makes it much harder in future to get assent to future attacks, even if it might be wise to make them.

    4. MikeK Says:

      George W Bush, whatever else you think of him and I was not a big fan in 2000, he did not “evade” service in Vietnam. The Texas Air National Guard flew jet fighters that were obsolescent, the F 102 which was an interceptor and not useful in Vietnam, but many pilots went to Vietnam. About the time Bush was qualified, the war was winding down and pilots were returning and talking the flight times that were available.

      The lie about him being AWOL, and the fake memo, and all that were thoroughly investigated by Kevin Drum, a leftist writer and blogger with no affection for Bush. Kevin, who is now at Mother Jones, a very leftist publication, found no evidence to support the Bush TANG stories. It gave me considerable respect for Kevin. I was a reader of his blog at the time and continued until the blogs he later joined began to delete all my comments and all of those not hard leftist.

      Bush didn’t volunteer for the infantry but he was flying a rather dangerous plane and the war was ending at the time he would have been eligible for deployment.

      Clinton, on the other hand, lied to his recruiter and clearly evaded.

    5. dearieme Says:

      OK, Mike, lets promote W to having avoided service in Vietnam.

    6. MikeK Says:

      “OK, Mike, lets promote W to having avoided service in Vietnam.”

      OK, So did you and so did I by being in the military before Vietnam. Avoided and evaded are a bit different. It’s a bit like being hit by a car or being hit by an idea.

    7. dearieme Says:

      “Bush didn’t volunteer for the infantry”: was it really that simple? Didn’t joining the Air National Guard exempt him from infantry service? I’ll grant you that that is more honourable than Slick Willie’s behaviour, but that is setting the bar absurdly low.

    8. Kirk Parker Says:

      Dearieme, that’s pathetic. Bush *volunteered* for the TANG and ended up flying an airplane with a fairly high rate of training accidents; quite likely a higher rate of casualty than those who served shipboard during VN.

      And now that you mention the Navy, would you similarly despise me if I had gotten a low draft number* and decided to enlist in the Navy instead of waiting to be drafted? Good grief!

      ————————————————————————————–
      *In fact I got a very high number, and in addition was in the first or second cohort where they didn’t actually take any draftees.

    9. Kirk Parker Says:

      And also: the National Guard did not shut down during Viet Nam, they still kept going and had plenty of positions to fill. Surely you aren’t saying that no one should have volunteered for them?

    10. pst314 Says:

      Re George Bush’s military service: If you talk to veterans you find that most think well of him.

    11. MikeK Says:

      Dearie me has no idea. He probably thinks of Kerry as a war hero.

    12. VXXC Says:

      @Trent Trelenko,

      I believe you but any sources/links on corruption/graft for veteran programs and GI education?

    13. Overload in CO Says:

      VXXC,
      I’d take it a step further:
      Any sources/links on corruption/graft for veteran programs and GI education favoring/helping Democrats more than Republicans.

    14. red Says:

      Any sources/links on corruption/graft for veteran programs….

      I believe there were certain reports recently of deaths of veterans waiting for medical care in the Veteran’s Administration system. There is documentation of the medical appointment system being falsified to ensure big money administrators got big bonuses. There are criminal investigations regarding this.

      http://www.cbsnews.com/news/fbi-opens-criminal-investigation-into-va-after-scathing-report/

      Is that the kind of link you were looking for?

    15. ed in texas Says:

      If you think about it, LOGCAP is actually the logical extension of the end of the draft, i.e. the military no longer had a mass pool of inductees (whom they were glad to be rid of, by the way). With the loss of the ‘free labor’ pool, the forces had to concentrate on what they consider their ‘core’ function, which is to fight in whatever conflict.
      It has been a goodly time since DOD (or actually the War Department) actually produced it’s own tools, as in the Navy running it’s own shipyards, or the Army Arsenals physically making weapons. That has long been farmed out to outside businesses, for good or bad.
      LOGCAP is just an extension of that process.

    16. Trent Telenko Says:

      >>Any sources/links on corruption/graft for veteran programs and GI education favoring/helping Democrats more than Republicans.

      The opening of VA hospitals and facilities is a bi-partisan Congressional pork fest of over a century and a half.

      As for the rest, look at the patterns of political donation by the VA’s associated government union, as well as to which political party university level academia supports, and your questions answer themselves.

    17. Trent Telenko Says:

      The Iraqi shia government is evacuating American private military contractors from Balad air base.

      The Obama Administration has abandoned American Private Military Contractors.

      See:

      Jerome Corsi
      @jerome_corsi
      Follow Just got confirmation – Iraq Air Force evacuating US contractors by C130 from Balad AFB in Iraq http://bit.ly/1oYgMfz WND article updating3:02 PM – 13 Jun 2014

      See also this link —

      http://www.wnd.com/2014/06/200-u-s-contractors-surrounded-by-jihadists-in-iraq/#ELUjMiiekw5wgZoI.99

      “A U.S. contractor in Iraq told WND the Iraqi Air Force has begun evacuations from Balad Air Force Base, where 200 American contractors were trapped by the al-Qaida-inspired jihadists who have seized control of two cities and are now threatening Baghdad.

      A contractor with Sallyport Global, who asked not to be named, told WND through a Skype instant message that he was transported from Balad to Baghdad and was communicating from a C-130 preparing to take off to Dubai.

      He said 300 in total have been evacuated from Balad, about 60 miles north of Baghdad, and another 100 are still awaiting airlift. He said the Iraqi Air Force is trying to evacuate everyone by midnight local time.

      WND previously reported Friday that private contractors who have recently returned to the U.S. from Iraq said their former colleagues effectively had been abandoned by the U.S. military and were fighting for their lives against an army of jihadists surrounding the base who belong to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.”

    18. dearieme Says:

      “Dearie me has no idea. He probably thinks of Kerry as a war hero.” Your tribalism is going to silly lengths now. I think Kerry was the weakest presidential candidate of my lifetime, and was a bloody disgrace in his antics over Vietnam. It is quite possible to think such thoughts and also think W a reckless fool. All it requires is to stop thinking like a tribesman.

    19. MikeK Says:

      “All it requires is to stop thinking like a tribesman.”

      Oh, snap !

      Here I thought I was being reasonable. I actually agree with this as I do with almost everything he writes.

      What should America have done?
      i: Invading Iraq and deposing Saddam Hussein was a reasonable alternative after 9/11. I supported the invasion at the time because America needed to make a horrible example out of one hostile Muslim government in order to persuade the others to cooperate in suppressing terrorists. But America should have installed a strongman and left, with the option of returning to install yet another strongman, as Daniel Pipes proposed at the time.

      I believe that this was Rumsfeld’s and Frank’s plan. That is why they were OK with a smaller force and with Turkey’s betrayal of its alleged alliance with the US when it blocked the invasion from the north. Bush was Bush and he was far too naive in these matters but he had Rumsfeld, and Cheney to help him sort out the “Wogs” as it were, until Bremer brought the brilliance of the US State Department to bear. All was lost then.