KUWAIT CITY, Aug. 1 — U.S. commanders in Kuwait said Wednesday that they have enormous capability to handle the tens of thousands of troops and their equipment that would stream out of Iraq during a U.S. withdrawal.
I’m not sure I believe the “enormous capability” part. At least not in the inference offered here.
I spent six months watching the port where the military equipment is loaded and unloaded. I was stationed there. While I was there it took about a month to load the equipment for one regiment, working pretty much around the clock. It took about a week or ten days to load one of the ships used to transport military equipment. I think the statement that it took over a year to move half a million out of Kuwait through the same facilities is more telling. That sounds about right to me.
I think to get 250,000 troops and their equipment out of Iraq would take about six month to eight months. And, at that pace, initial movement would indeed look like a dash for the border. In the initial stages of a withdrawal, if they were planning to withdrawal quickly, they would need to preload the staging area where the equipment is loaded onto the ships that haul it home. That would look a lot like a race for the border as those first units headed south.
[posted with ecto]