US Military Stockpiling "Massive Amounts" Of Gear Near Iraq

Since June, the U.S. military has been slowly stockpiling massive amounts of its gear coming out of Afghanistan at a depot in Kuwait adjacent to a bustling commercial port, in preparation for ultimately shipping it across the border into Iraq for an allied offensive against the Islamic State group, US News reports. Air Force Maj. Gen. Rowayne “Wayne” Schatz admitted, "from June to December, we’ve worked a lot on moving items into Kuwait," including 3,100 vehicles, most of them MRAPs. While the military stands by President Barack Obama’s repeated pledge that he will not put U.S. combat forces on the ground, an increasing number of U.S. troops has slowly trickled back into Iraq, as the US and its allies are reportedly planning for a massive spring offensive to retake territory from ISIS.

 

 

As US News reports,

Since June, the U.S. military has been slowly stockpiling massive amounts of its gear coming out of Afghanistan at a depot in Kuwait adjacent to a bustling commercial port, in preparation for ultimately shipping it across the border into Iraq for an allied offensive against the Islamic State group.

 

The facility's warehouses and large asphalt yards now are home to roughly 3,100 vehicles, most of them MRAPs – the mine-resistant, ambush-protected vehicles that have been ubiquitous in America’s prolonged wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. There is also some electronic equipment and other supplies at the depot, located at Kuwait's Shuaiba port, defense officials say.

 

The gear, primarily from the Army, will be fixed up and held as top U.S. planners in Iraq determine what they’ll need to defeat the Islamic State group in the coming months, says Air Force Maj. Gen. Rowayne “Wayne” Schatz, the director of operations and plans for U.S. Transportation Command.

 

“From June to December, we’ve worked a lot on moving items into Kuwait,” he says. “The Army is holding the gear there, and it has room to hold it, as the mission fleshes out.”

 

The U.S. military and its allies are reportedly planning for a massive spring offensive to help Iraqi and Kurdish peshmerga fighters retake territory from the Islamic State group, particularly traditional Sunni Muslim bastions such as Anbar province west of Baghdad and the key city of Mosul.

 

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It represents a full circle for the protracted Middle East wars the U.S. continues to be drawn into: Much of the equipment taken out of Iraq during America’s complete withdrawal in 2011 was sent to nearby Afghanistan, where it had to be retrofitted to be effective in the rural mountains of the Hindu Kush and deserts of Helmand and Kandahar provinces, as opposed to the urban environments of Baghdad and Mosul. Now, as the war winds down in Afghanistan, the Islamic State group's sweeping incursion toward Baghdad has forced the U.S. to again focus its attention there.

While the military stands by President Barack Obama’s repeated pledge that he will not put U.S. combat forces on the ground, an increasing number of U.S. troops has slowly trickled back into Iraq.

On Friday, the Pentagon announced Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel had ordered 1,000 paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division to join other advisers and trainers at headquarters in Baghdad and Irbil, as well as facilities elsewhere in the country. Roughly 1,700 troops are in Iraq already, with as many as 1,300 more to deploy.

But it's not all going to Iraq, much of it is coming home... as the militarization of 'Murica continues...

As of this summer, there was roughly $36 billion worth of equipment slated to return to the U.S. after being extricated from Afghanistan either by air and to nearby transfer facilities like the one in Kuwait, through a complicated land route north of Afghanistan, or through border crossings into Pakistan and on to one of that country's ports.

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