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For a long time, the shortcomings of Iraqi security forces were glaringly obvious in an often underappreciated aspect of war fighting: logistics.
Without a ready supply of spare parts, fuel for vehicles, trained mechanics and ammunition chiefs, combat operations can come to a grinding halt. That’s what happened in 2007, for example, when a group of Iraqi soldiers, en route to a raid on suspected terrorists in the country’s north, got stuck on the roadside. They simply ran out of gasoline.
Logistics are “the lifeblood of any operation,” said U.S. Army Col. Edward Dorman, chief logistician for Multi-National Corps–Iraq.
Dorman has spent the past year trying to eliminate the Iraqi security forces’ weakness in logistics, a shortcoming that has hindered efforts to turn them into a self-reliant military.