Highlights of GAO-08-930, a report to congressional committees.
OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM: Actions Needed to Enhance DOD Planning for Reposturing of U.S. Forces from Iraq
The redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq, a process the Department of Defense (DOD) refers to as “reposturing,” will be a massive and expensive effort. As of March 2008, for example, there were about 173,000 pieces of equipment in Iraq, worth about $16.5 billion, that will need to be returned to the United States. The redeployment process following Operation Desert Storm in 1991, a much shorter war, lasted at least 14 months. DOD guidance emphasizes the importance of early planning for this redeployment process.
What GAO Recommends
GAO recommends that the Secretary of Defense take steps to clarify the chain of command over logistical operations for retrograde of equipment and materiel. Also, Congress may wish to consider directing DOD to report specific details on the status of reposturing plans and how it intends to mitigate issues such as those we identify. DOD generally concurred with our recommendations.