In an interview today on Iraqiya TV, Prime Minister Hayder Abadi made a plea for more US military aid, saying the country lost a lot of weapons over the course of last year’s war, including large caches abandoned by troops in the initial ISIS push last summer.
“We lost 2,300 Humvees in Mosul alone,” noted Abadi. The Humvees weren’t destroyed, by and large, but were rather simply left behind by fleeing troops, and were subsequently taken by ISIS. The Humvees were only a portion of what was lost, as ISIS acquired tanks, artillery, armored vehicles, basically a small army’s worth of advanced US gear in the fall of the major city.
After the fall of Mosul, the US began seeking to ratchet up sales and aid to Iraq, and approved the sale of another 1,000 Humvees to Iraq, an estimated $579 million deal. How much of that has been delivered so far is unclear, but the fall of Ramadi this month led to scores of additional armored vehicles, including Humvees, being seized by ISIS.
There has been surprisingly little debate in the US about the wisdom of further shipments to Iraq’s military, inasmuch as those shipments have tended to amount to delayed shipments to ISIS, and the Pentagon has hyped the large number of Humvees and armored vehicles it has destroyed in the war so far, seemingly oblivious to the fact that those are US-provided arms that the US is just going to keep providing.