LOGISTICS ANALYSIS: OPERATION IRAQI FREEDOM
Operation Iraqi Freedom is the cover name assigned by the United States Department of Defense to the invasion of Iraq in the spring of 2003. This essay analyses the logistics effort that supported the conduct of the operation. Where feasible, this analysis highlights medical logistics operations.
Logistics is the key to the success of any major military operation. Commanders, regardless of the quality of their combat forces and regardless of the brilliance of strategists and tacticians, must be able to:
Move their combat forces to the arena of battle
Supply, provide support, and provide care for forces during the period of battle, and
Develop and maintain the infrastructure required to sustain the forces in the post-battle period
There is an advertisement frequently seen on American television that ends with the slogan: ôBASF does not make many of the products you use. BASF makes the products you use betterö. Paraphrased, that advertising slogan accurately describes the role of military logistics for the United States armed forces: ôMilitary logistics does not fight the nationÆs battles. Military logistics makes is possible for our combat forces to fight and win battlesö.
The military logistics effort for Operation Iraqi Freedom actually began in 1991, when the decision was made to maintain supply caches and logistical cadres in the Middle East following the end of the Gulf War of 1991. These supply caches and logistical cadres provided the nucleus for the rapid expansion of the logistics effort required to support Operation Iraqi Freedom 12 years later in 2003 (Brown & Rhodes, 2003).
Situations change, requirements change, and the approach to conducting combat operations can change dramatically over a 12-year span. The changes in each of those areas that occurred from 1991 to 2003 dictated changes in the logistics effort to support Operation Iraqi Freed...