Iraqi Forces Will Boast Counterinsurgency Capabilities the U.S. Lacks

Iraqi Forces Will Boast Counterinsurgency Capabilities the U.S. Lacks

The Iraqi armed forces are struggling to become self-sufficient in the face of constant insurgent attacks, a dearth of experienced leaders and in a divisive political environment. Several years after the establishment of Baghdad's new army and air force, U.S. and British forces still take the lead in most combat operations in Iraq. But in two key areas -- armored trucks and counterinsurgency aircraft -- the Iraqi military is actually more advanced than its American partner, reflecting key differences in the two nations' overall military strategies.

Armored Trucks

In April 2006, the U.S. Department of Defense solicited bids from American firms to build as many as 1,000 light armored vehicles for the Iraqi army. The winning company was Force Protection, Inc., based in Ladson, S.C. Their design, the $400,000-per-vehicle Badger, was based on the Cougar armored truck that Force Protection had been hand-building in small numbers for U.S. bomb squads. At the time, Badger represented the largest-ever purchase of this type of vehicle.

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