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Weapons of Moderate Destruction

2003-08-01 19:05:27.538394+00 by petronius 4 comments

Latest odd story out of Iraq: According to the Guardian, Coalition forces have found a number of Iraqi warplanes hidden at airbases. No Iraqi warcraft are thought to have flown during the late war, although it is unknown if this was due to some strategy or to refusal by pilots to confront the Coalition. Perhaps most strange is that fact that some of the planes were lowered into the sand and just covered up, with little effort to sandproof them. As Instapundit points out, this ruined the planes as effectively as if they were shot down.

[ related topics: Aviation History War ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: Weapons of Moderate Destruction made: 2003-08-02 16:46:41.239777+00 by: ebradway

I would have been surprised if they had even one function plane. Modern jet aircraft are horrendously complex and not field servicable without a supply of spare parts, specialized diagnostic equipment and well-trained mechanics. The US 'Chair Force' is all about supply chains and technical training (my Father was an aircraft maintenance professional for 30 years - B-52s, F-4s, F-15s).

Remember, since the last Gulf War, Iraq has had extremely tight trade restrictions in place and enough of their infrastructure destroyed to keep them busy just trying to keep basic transportation and utilities running. Keeping aircraft aloft was, I'm sure, beyond their means.

Ironically, maintaining aircraft is alot harder than breeding germs or even making rough nuclear weapons.

#Comment Re: Weapons of Moderate Destruction made: 2003-08-04 14:42:50.632789+00 by: meuon [edit history]

Stories from many nations remind my of childhood sci-fi stories where mega-technology was bought/traded/inherited by the "locals".. and the mega-tech stands out: "...as they rode their battle horses by torchlight into the hold of the spaceship..." - The general population in Iraq barely undertstands the technology it's nation acquired. Sadly, I fear the US has some of the same issues, just better masked.

#Comment Re: Weapons of Moderate Destruction made: 2003-08-04 15:57:38.801837+00 by: petronius

I suspect that if the Baa'thists had a choice between smuggling in spare military parts (or, for that matter, silk sheets for Uday's pad)or medicines for children, the spares would win. And since the parts were mostly from the old Soviet, nobody would be paying much attention to the embargo. I suspect much of this is based on the general corruption we find in most dictatorships. Not so much corruption by bribery, but the complete collapse of common sense and decency that comes when your best people are jailed, shot, or driven out of the country.

#Comment Re: [Entry #6400] Re: Weapons of Moderate Destruction made: 2003-08-04 18:56:04.064378+00 by: Dan Lyke

I'm beginning to believe that the reasonable explanations for most of what's been found in Iraq revolve around extrapolations of an "if I can pocket this and convince the higher-ups that it was spent on military hardware..." attitude. Put up enough of a front that the higher-ups think there's an air force, or a missile program, or biological weapons development, but just funnel off the cash 'cause you know that the regime will last less long than any need to prove it in combat.