Below is are text from key paragraphs of the summary of findings from a newly released report issued by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), which probes the readiness of the US military to "reposture" in Iraq, including the potential drawdown of American forces. A link to the full document appears below.
While efforts have been made to synchronize planning for reposturing, DOD, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), and the military services have not yet clearly established all of the roles and responsibilities for managing and executing the retrograde of materiel and equipment from Iraq. Although CENTCOM has designated U.S. Army Central (ARCENT) as executive agent for synchronizing retrograde of materiel and equipment from the Iraqi theater of operations, no unified or coordinated structure exists to account for the roles of the variety of teams and units engaged in retrograde operations. Until recently ARCENT did not have operational control over the two units responsible for retrograding the bulk of equipment in Iraq.
We identified the following nine issues that DOD should consider as it develops a comprehensive plan for reposturing U.S. forces from Iraq: (1) agreed-upon guidance for environmental cleanup and the disposition of property, which could affect the time and cost of closing bases in Iraq; (2) guidance and plans for the reposturing of contractors from Iraq; (3) accountability and disposition of contractor-managed government-owned property; (4) the possibility of restrictive conditions on the use of facilities in Kuwait and other neighboring countries; (5) availability of power-washing equipment and stands, called wash racks, and the number of customs inspectors in Kuwait; (6) capacity of military transports and convoy security assets, including limits on the main supply route; (7) increased demand for access to mental health care providers; (8) infrastructure requirements of returning units; and (9) requirements for training and equipment reset to restore readiness. DOD has begun to address these issues.
While the National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal year 2008 directs DOD to brief the congressional defense committees on certain issues related to reposturing, DOD is not required to provide the specific information identified in our report. We believe that without more specific reporting from DOD, Congress may not be able to effectively exercise its oversight responsibilities.
Read the full 85-page PDF document here: GAO_d08930.pdf.